Pokémon Prism is a fan-made Pokémon game that was in development for eight years. It was set to release December 25 this year, however, just a few days before the date, it received a cease and desist letter from Nintendo. The developers were forced to shut it down, never reaching the internet.
That is until a group of pirates managed to get hold of a copy of the game and release it online. The day after the announcement of the game’s cancellation, copies of the ROM hack appeared on 4chan.
The leakers included a text file in the download of the game. The text file says that the people responsible for the online release have no connection to the developers. They simply want to see ROM hacks succeed.
Pokémon Prism Leaks Online Despite Cease and Desist
Kotaku contacted the leakers through an email found inside the text file. They responded saying that they believe that Nintendo is “destroying their fans’ hard work for no reason and at no gain” and that Nintendo could have used the hack to promote the franchise.
The version of the game released is not exactly identical to the intended final version of the game.
In order to protect the original developers of Pokémon Prism, the leakers completely removed the game’s credits and replaced it with a simple thank you message to anyone who completes the game.
The original developers of the hack claim to have nothing to do with the leak.
Pokémon Prism Spreads Like Wildfire
Nintendo is known for shutting down several fan projects that use their IP, but Pokémon Prism, in particular, received a lot of fame before its shutdown. The biggest cause for this is because the developers have worked on this game for eight years.
Its name became even bigger once news of its cease and desists started to spread online, with several major outlets reporting on the incident.
Because of the large boost in fame that the hack received in its final moments, the leak quickly spread to more mainstream media websites such as YouTube.
At the time this writing, there are already several playthroughs of the game on YouTube. They also have links to their descriptions teaching viewers how to download and install the ROM for themselves.
Nintendo has made no statements regarding this leak as well as people playing the hack on their 3DS devices.
However it is clear that this incident shows that despite Nintendo’s desires and actions, there is still a strong demand for fan projects such as this one. Even a cease and desist wasn’t enough to stop it from getting into the hands of the public.