Last year, popular YouTuber Desmond “Etika” Amofah tragically took his own life, so artist and content creator CptnAlex – who produces a wide range of customised shells and other items relating to Nintendo – decided to produce the ‘Etikon’ to raise money for JED Foundation, a mental health and suicide prevention charity.
While an initial crowdfunding campaign to create the controllers was unsuccessful, CptnAlex ran a second, smaller campaign which was. This campaign raised $10,000 for the charity, but CptnAlex has recently confirmed that following a cease and desist from Nintendo issued at the end of September 2019, he had to stop selling the special controllers (thanks, VGC).
The issue wasn’t that Alex was selling modified controllers – it was related to the fact that the devices used the Joy-Con name, which is Nintendo’s copyright. «Nintendo didn’t shut down my business completely,» CptnAlex told fans on Twitter. «They just had me remove some designs and I’m modifying most of them. Controller modification isn’t the issue, use of copyright is.»
Approximately 300 of the special controller shells had sold via crowdfunding platform IndieGoGo before Nintendo took action, with another 200 placed for sale on Etsy. These 200 units ultimately had to be trashed.
The news has predictably gained a hostile reception on social networks, with many fans complaining that Nintendo’s strict legal stance is preventing some of its biggest fans from doing positive things, like raising money for charity, in this particular case. Coming so soon after the confirmation that The Big House event had been cancelled following a cease and desist from Nintendo – an event which was forced to move to an online setting this year, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic – it’s hardly a shock that this latest revelation has gone down so badly.