Pokémon’s Former Chief Lawyer Action Against Fan Games: Nobody Wants To Sue Followers!

Pokémon's Former Chief Lawyer Action Against Fan Games
Pokémon's Former Chief Lawyer Action Against Fan Games

Exploring the world of Pokémon just got more interesting as a former lawyer from the franchise shares insider secrets about how the company deals with issues like cease and desist orders. This rare peek behind the scenes reveals that Pokémon doesn’t enjoy taking legal action against its fans.

Instead, they strive to balance protecting their ideas while keeping their fans happy. Let’s take a closer look at how Pokémon handles these tricky situations and what the lawyer has said!!

Pokémon’s Former Chief Lawyer’s Action Against Fan Games

An ex-lawyer for Pokemon has explained how Nintendo shuts down fan projects, which is a good lesson that “no one likes suing fans.”

Don McGowan, who used to be Chief Legal Officer and Business Affairs at The Pokemon Company, talked to Aftermath about his time working at Bungie, Microsoft Game Studios, and the Pokemon Company. During the interview, McGowan was asked about how the company handles Cease & Desist letters, including how they work and what the law allows and doesn’t allow.

Pokémon's Former Chief Lawyer's Action Against Fan Games
Pokémon’s Former Chief Lawyer’s Action Against Fan Games

“I would be sitting in my office minding my own business when someone from the company would send me a link to a news article, or I would stumble across it myself,” McGowan says. “I teach Entertainment Law at the University of Washington and say this to my students: the worst thing on earth is when your ‘fan’ project gets press because now I know about you.”

The lawyer says, “But that’s not the end of the equation. Being exposed is just the first step toward having your project shut down. You wait to see if they get funded (for a Kickstarter or similar); if they get funded then that’s when you engage. No one likes suing fans.”

A lot of people talked about Palworld when it first came out because it looked a lot like Pokemon. The Pokemon Company said at the time that it would “investigate and take appropriate measures” against any games that might violate the company’s copyright rights. However, as of this writing, Nintendo’s lawyers have only had to step in when Palworld got a Pokemon mod.

Pocketpair, the company that made Palworld, said, “We have absolutely no intention of infringing upon the intellectual property of other companies.” In addition, McGowan, who left The Pokemon Company in 2020, said that the Pokemon-like survival game “looks like the usual ripoff nonsense that I would see a thousand times a year.”

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Alex Hoffman-Ellis is a nerd who love technology and computers. He has been building computers for over 5 years now, and have always loved the challenge of learning how to make them faster, better, and more efficient. He's here to share his insights on these as a journalist, a designer and a technologist with love for writing and tech stuff. Words from Alex Hoffman: “Technology is best when it brings people together.”