Super Mario Mischief
A new web-based game recently popped up and gained fame fairly quickly on the Internet. The game features the familiar red plumber in a familiar atmosphere as he jumps over pipes and stomps on Koopa’s to save the princess. This is of course the game Super Mario Bros. created by Nintendo. However, this game online is called Mario Royale and features the familiar protagonist along with 74 other copies of him controlled by other players. The goal is to race through the levels in each “World” as fast as possible. While dodging the familiar hurdles of a typical Mario game, players must also avoid fireballs and terrain destroyed by other players. The name Mario Royale draws from the fame of the popular Battle Royale genre of games, the genre of monumental game Fortnite.
When you enter a game of Mario Royale you could set a player name and a squad ID if you wanted to pair up with friends. However, if no name is listed then you are automatically given the name “Infringio.” This most notably references the fact that this game itself could be considered copyright infringement against Nintendo’s intellectual property in the Super Mario franchise. The game uses the assets from the base Mario game.
Following its rapid rise to fame, it appears Nintendo’s lawyers have finally taken note of Mario Royale and have issued a cease-and-desist to the game’s creator and issued a DMCA takedown request. In response to this move, the game’s textures have been reskinned with similar but non-infringing assets. And the game name has been renamed to DMCA Royale. The speed of the asset flip appeared somewhat suspect to those following the game, as it appeared they had been in development for some time. The Mario name and likeness served as efficient marketing for this game to get it off the ground and it remains to be seen whether it can retain a player-base while avoiding further actions from Nintendo.