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Nintendo may have DMCA’d Garry’s Mod, here’s what’s happening

shocked pikachu over gmod screenshot

Facepunch Studios announced it will take down all Nintendo-related assets in the Garry’s Mod workshop, pulling a load of content out of the Valve-published title.

Garry’s Mod, also known as GMod, started as a Source Engine mod before it became a phenomenon unto itself. The title spawned many of the popular user-made game modes that pop up across gaming, like surf maps and prop hunts. It also was home to Trouble in Terrorist Town, the forerunner to Among Us.

GMod fan creations often indiscriminately feature characters from other IPs, as dozens of fan animations and maps can attest to. However, it seems Nintendo has finally had enough of the fan content. Facepunch Studios announced it would take down all Nintendo-related assets on the official Garry’s Mod Steam page. 

What happened between Nintendo and Garry’s Mod?

Facepunch Studios stated that it received a DMCA takedown notice from Nintendo in regards to Garry’s Mod.

The announcement came via a post on the game’s official Steam page, with the developer acknowledging that it has a long road ahead in terms of cleaning up the content.

“Some of you may have noticed that certain Nintendo related workshop items have recently been taken down. This is not a mistake, the takedowns came from Nintendo. Honestly, this is fair enough…This is an ongoing process, as we have 20 years of uploads to go through,” Facepunch Studios said.

Nintendo has a brutal and controversial history when it comes to copyright infringement, perceived or otherwise.

In February 2024, Nintendo sued Team Yuzu, the developers behind a popular Nintendo Switch emulator, for $2.4 million. Nintendo reasons that Team Yuzu’s software enabled mass piracy of Nintendo titles and affected potential profits.

Garry’s Mod isn’t the first dustup between Valve and Nintendo, either. Steam also took down the Dolphin emulator in 2023 after Nintendo advised them against hosting the software, citing DMCA as a reason. These moves have left many Nintendo emulation teams worried for the future. 

It’s not just Nintendo emulators, either. Nintendo quickly took down Palworld mods that replaced assets with official Pokemon designs. The company also hinted at an investigation of Palworld for potential copyright infringement, potentially suggesting a Pokemon-Palworld lawsuit may be coming at some point.

Did Nintendo really DMCA Garry’s Mod?

Garry’s Mod received a legitimate DMCA notice from Nintendo.

Some GMod fans speculated that the takedown notice wasn’t from Nintendo, but instead an online troll. The troll allegedly has a history of sending fake DMCA claims against various games on Steam. Facepunch Studios did not elaborate on the details of the DMCA takedown in the initial announcement, but the “Garry” behind the game confirmed it was legitimate:

Given Nintendo’s notorious protectiveness of its IPs, it’s no surprise that Facepunch Studios immediately took action but any hope of these mods sticking around is gone. This also establishes an awkward precedent for other games that offer expansive access to fan-made content.

Fans likely won’t see Nintendo assets in future GMod creations and mods that have been available for nearly 20 years are set to be taken down. It could also see Nintendo take action against similarly mod-friendly games such as Roblox and s&box.

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Written by Gab Hernandez

Gab Hernandez has a particular love for video games that give players control over the narrative direction, such as Divinity: Original Sin 2 and Disco Elysium. Gab spends just as much time playing games as they do gushing about them online to anyone who will listen. Their work has also been seen on TheGamer, Gfinity, and Wargamer, and you can follow them on Twitter / X at @HardlyWorkinGab.

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