Nintendo is Going After a Popular Zelda YouTuber

Nintendo shut down Eric PointCrow's videos highlighting a multiplayer mod for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

By Jason Collins | Published

zelda nintendo

Nintendo strikes once again by going after Eric PointCrow Morino, a popular Zelda YouTuber who just released a brand-new multiplayer mod for Breath of the Wild. Nintendo previously marketed Breath of the Wild in the same way it now markets Tears of the Kingdom—as a game in which you can let your imagination run free and approach things the way you see fit. However, whenever someone does that, Nintendo basically hands-free ammo to its lawyers, which previously resulted in pulling one of its most popular games and shutting down one of its biggest tournaments.  

As reported by Kotaku, following PointCrow’s release of a brand-new multiplayer mod for Breath of the Wild, the YouTuber was hit with copyright infringement claims from Nintendo, leading to some of his biggest YouTube videos being demonetized. The YouTuber subsequently released a statement of disappointment in Nintendo of America, stating that the love from the game’s community and the innovation of modders such as himself have kept the game alive and brought new people to the Zelda series.

Well, it would seem that Nintendo only wants your imagination to run rampant the way they see fit because if you ever tamper with the structure of the game, you’re likely to find yourself in front of a firing squad of Nintendo and its lawyers. The company is notorious for unleashing its legal team, backed up by corporate funds, to hunt for anyone working with their ROMs, emulators, mods, and even music from its intellectual property. So why break the tradition over something the fans have been clamoring for?

This isn’t the first time Nintendo has done this to Eric PointCrow and his team. In November 2021, PointCrow put out a bounty worth $10,000 for anyone who makes a Breath of the Wild multiplayer, resulting in a team-up between himself and several other modders. The results came some eight months ago in the form of a co-op multiplayer allowing for up to 32 different versions of Link to run around Hyrule, creating mayhem. A few days later, Nintendo came knocking with copyright infringement claims, demonetizing PointCrow’s videos.

The videos in question were taken down, but PointCrow managed to fight the claims and restore the videos for viewing, but not monetization. This is somewhat unordinary, considering that most companies actually go out of their way to promote various content made by prominent YouTubers, despite the latter monetizing their intellectual property. The reason is quite simple: it’s free promotional material for large developers and publishers—YouTube pays the YouTubers.

The most infamous case associated with Nintendo and copyright infringement was when the company forced a dead website to destroy pirated games—the ones Nintendo didn’t sell at the time. Here’s an interesting bit: only a couple of those games appeared on a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. The rest were nowhere to be found. Then, there’s a case of a YouTuber who decided to fight back by buying all Nintendo 3DS and Wii U games off the Store before Nintendo closed it—because Nintendo’s games apparently have an expiration date.

As for PointCrow and his mod, Nintendo should be grateful to content creators for even entertaining the idea of their content, given the gaming market share they currently have. Without the content creators to fuel the public interest, Nintendo Switch wouldn’t have broken all those sales records.