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Nintendo Sends Cease & Desist to Game Awards For Showing Tears of the Kingdom Footage

Nintendo’s legal department ordered The Game Awards not to show copyright-protected gameplay footage of its games, specifically noting The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, during awards show’s annual ceremony this December.

“This is disappointing, but I wouldn’t want to strain our great relationship with the Big N,” said Geoff Keighley, host and executive producer of The Game Awards, said on stage after getting a note handed to him. “They’ve put out a lot of amazing games this year, including not one but two Game of the Year nominees,” Keighley noted, referring to Tears of the Kingdom and Super Mario Wonder, which is also affected by the cease and desist. “I guess we’ll just give game of the year to an anonymous title and people will have to figure it out.

Hard Drive reached out to Nintendo of America for comment, and received the following form letter:

“Nintendo is committed to protecting its intellectual property rights from all forms of infringement. Unaltered uploads of gameplay footage reproduce part of the experience of Nintendo’s games for individuals who did not pay for the privilege. So do altered uploads of gameplay footage, reviews, parodies, remixes of copyrighted music, fan-made games featuring copyrighted characters, Super Smash Bros. tournaments, and repeated requests that Nintendo make previously released games available for purchase again. No, we are never going to put Gamecube games on Nintendo Switch Online or similar services. Especially not the rare ones that cost upwards of $200 on eBay. Shut up already.”

Despite the controversy surrounding Nintendo’s long history of legal threats, other game developers support the decision. Bethesda’s Todd Howard applauded Nintendo and expressed gratitude:

“This could be huge. They can’t keep the games on as nominees without footage to show, right? This means they’re gonna free up two Game of the Year slots, for sure. This is how Starfield can still win,” said Howard, shortly before The Game Awards announced Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon and Final Fantasy XVI as the new nominees. “We’re a shoo-in, this time for sure!”

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