Last week, Nintendo shut down fan-made video game Pokémon Prism just days before it was supposed to launch by sending a cease-and-desist letter to its creator, Adam "Koolboyman" Vierra.
The game would have allowed players to explore the new region of Naljo, as well as encounter both familiar and new Pokémon. All is not lost though, as pirates have acquired the ROM file for Pokémon Prism and uploaded it online.
Pirates Leak Pokémon Prism
A group of people, who said that they want ROM hacks to succeed, uploaded the files for Pokémon Prism on the notorious 4chan forums, along with a text file that claimed that the pirates were not affiliated in any way with Vierra and the development team of Pokémon Prism. They said that they were able to acquire the Pokémon Prism files due to the carelessness of a developer, but looked to remain anonymous as they can be hit with fines of thousands of dollars for their distribution of a game that has been hit with a cease-and-desist order.
When Kotaku contacted the pirates, they said that Nintendo could have used Pokémon Prism as a means to promote the entire Pokémon franchise, but instead, the company decided to destroy the hard work of fans for no reason and no gain.
However, the ROM file that the group uploaded for Pokémon Prism is not the same version as what the public would have gained access to if the planned Dec. 25 release for the game pushed through. To avoid the game's creators from being involved in any legal trouble, the pirates altered the game and replaced the end-game credits with a simple thank you message.
The game has since run rampant, spawning countless download links and bringing what was a dejected Pokémon Prism sub-Reddit back to life. Threads in the sub-Reddit have transformed the game into a full community effort, as Redditors discuss secrets, tips, and walkthroughs.
What Is Pokémon Prism?
Pokémon Prism is a ROM hack for Pokémon Crystal, with the development team editing the read-only memory in the Nintendo video game to create a new experience. Players will take on the role of the son or daughter of Lance, the Elite Four Champion from Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue, as they discover new Pokémon types such as Abnormal, Sound and Gas in their adventure.
The game was in development for eight years before Nintendo decided to shut it down last week, making it go through the same turmoil as another fan-made project, Pokémon Uranium. It was also shut down by Nintendo in August after the company sent takedown notices to its developers.