Pokemon Prism is a rom hack of the ever popular Pokemon Crystal, who’s developer, Koolboyman, spent the better part of 8 years creating. It was supposed to release just this past Christmas. However, Nintendo sent a cease and desist letter mere days before release. Koolboyman complied with all of the requests, including never publicly releasing the game, shutting down the site, and ceasing all development. Pokemon Prism joined the ranks of AM2R and Pokemon Uranium in terms of fan games Nintendo shut down in 2016.
However, while the other two fan games did get released and thus, Nintendo allowed the sites to stay online so current players could still discuss the game, Pokemon Prism was destined to never see the light of day. This is the internet, and as such we should have known better.
Originally the game leaked on 4chan, though the anonymous leakers stated they are not at all related to the original development team. How they got possession of these files is unknown. Did they hack the computers they were built on? Maybe they were some beta testers? Either way, the files went public and spread like wildfire. A team currently “managing” the files stated their released it despite the risks because:
“Regardless of Nintendo’s legal rights, we do believe that they are destroying their fans’ hard work for no reason and at no gain,” they said. “Nintendo could have used this (and any other good ROM hack) as an opportunity to promote the Pokémon series in general. They don’t even have to do anything other than let the games live.”
There is a read me file publicly available for you to see some of what has gone into this release. This certainly feels like a big middle finger to Nintendo, but maybe in this case they are justified. What do you think?