The Game Awards creator and host Geoff Keighley explains why popular fan-made games Pokemon Uranium and AM2R were removed from the show's list of nominees.
A week ago, The Game Awards dropped popular fan-made games Pokemon Uranium and AM2R from its list of nominees. The games were two of four titles nominated in the "Best Fan Creation" category. Although the event's organizers didn't make a statement explaining exactly why the games had been removed from the nominees list, many fans speculated that the two fan-made games, which had previously received copyright takedowns from Nintendo, were pulled for legal reasons.
Geoff Keighley, who created and hosts The Game Awards, has now revealed why the games were removed. Confirming fan suspicions, in a recent Twitch stream, Keighley explained that "everything in the show has to be legally cleared by the game companies in question" and that there is a "clearance process where we have to get basically rights from everyone that owns the IPs of the games," although companies involved are not told in advance who is nominated.
Following the announcement of the nominees, it "became clear" that The Game Awards would be unable to get clearance for Pokemon Uranium and AM2R from Nintendo. Had The Game Awards continued to include the titles, said Keighley, "the show is potentially at risk for take down as well."
Some may argue that this could have been foreseen and avoided. Given that Nintendo's copyright takedowns saw over 500 games removed earlier this year (including No Man's Sky/Mario mashup, No Mario's Sky), it's clear that Nintendo would go to great lengths to protect its intellectual property and that it was always unlikely that the company would support the possibility of Pokemon Uranium and AM2R receiving a high profile industry award. Had The Game Awards considered this, then other fan creations that did have the IP-holders' support could have taken their place (and fans of Uranium and A2MR wouldn't feel so disappointed).
But on the other hand, many will be glad that the games were removed from the list and that The Game Awards and its many planned reveals (including Mass Effect: Andromeda's gameplay debut) can continue without a hitch. Moreover, as Keighley told Twitch viewers that he thinks that "fan creations are amazing" and that he "would like nothing more than those creators and Nintendo to figure out a way to collaborate on content," it sounds as though there is still room for The Game Awards to honor a range of fan creations in future shows - even Nintendo-related creations - provided that they don't fall into grey legal territory.
The Game Awards will take place on December 1.
Source: Nintendo Everything