The Pokemon-themed mod for Minecraft known as Pixelmon is shutting down, revealing that The Pokemon Company issued a “request” that they end development. Pixelmon attempts to recreate Pokemon on top of the standard Minecraft gameplay, filling a Minecraft world with randomly spawning Pokemon for trainers to capture and battle with. The mod has been extremely popular on YouTube for several years now, but now appears to have fallen under The Pokemon Company’s legal eye.
Pixelmon had managed to avoid The Pokemon Company’s typically overbearing legal arm by creating all of its own assets within its own community. Every single Pikachu, Charizard, and PokeCenter was hand-crafted by a player of Pixelmon since The Pokemon Company would be quick to smite any mod that uses official Pokemon assets. The mod is also freely available, because profiting off another’s intellectual property is also a legal no-no for mods. All things considered, Pixelmon is about as optimal a fan-made project as a mod can get.
However, companies don’t like it when fan projects compete with their own. Up until now, Pixelmon has offered a 3D Pokemon experience that The Pokemon Company hasn’t targeted on its own, as it has preferred to focus on 2D handheld games and 3D spin-offs like Pokemon Snap and Pokemon Colosseum. While speculative, it’s likely that things have changed with the announcement of a main franchise Pokemon game for the Nintendo Switch.
Pixelmon‘s developers have responded to The Pokemon Company’s shut down request with poise, as has its community. Pixelmon creator MrMasochism posted the news and an apology earlier today, part of which is as follows:
“With much sadness, but keeping all our fond memories, we must announce that Pixelmon is ending its development. We have had a great time making this mod and creating such a wonderful community but after a request from the Pokémon company we will be shutting our doors. I’m sorry for the disappointment this will cause but let’s remember all the great times we had playing Pixelmon, discussing Pokémon, making awesome things inside this mod and everything else that we’ve done.”
MrMasochism goes on to encourage his community to go out and find other great projects to support, as he is clearly indebted and grateful to his team and to players for what they’ve each put in Pixelmon and its community. The replies to his post are filled with appreciative fans thanking the Pixelmon developers for all their hard work, as well as memories of their favorite Pixelmon experiences. There’s certainly some anger and frustration as well, but in a rare occurrence, the positivity seems to be winning out.
Pixelmon development has ended in Minecraft, effective immediately, and all official downloads of the mod have been pulled. Fans have created a petition requesting The Pokemon Company allow Pixelmon development to continue, in the interim.