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Massive Pokémon Fan Game Site Taken Down Without Warning Via DMCA

Relic Castle, a popular forum focused on the creation and sharing of Pokémon fan games, has gone offline with no advanced warning. The folks behind the site blame a DMCA takedown notice for the sudden shutdown.

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Relic Castle was set up in 2014 as an online forum where people could talk about Pokémon fan games, and could also share links to download these games from third-party websites. Relic Castle never hosted any of these files directly; instead, fan games using a mix of new and old assets were often downloaded from places like Mediafire and Google Drive. The forums were just a convenient hub for links and gave the community a place to discuss Pokémon fan games. However, it’s all gone now.

On March 21, the Relic Castle Twitter account posted a message stating that the site had been shut down “following a DMCA takedown notice.” Relic Castle did not confirm who sent the notice.

“Relic Castle has always been a non-profit, ad-free, tight-knit community and we pride ourselves in what we have achieved,” the staff explained in the message.

“Members have felt at home, made friends, and even careers with us. It is with deep regret that I have to inform you that the forum part of this community, which was to turn 10 years old this year, has had to come to an end.”

Kotaku has reached out to Relic Castle for more information.

According to that message, Relic Castle had over 20,000 members and 65,000+ posts. While the site is gone, the Discord server remains and is “not going anywhere.” Relic Castle staff also pointed to the Wayback Machine as a resource for folks looking to visit the site moving forward.

“Thank you all for being with us this last decade, and thank you for making Relic Castle as awesome and life-changing as it has been for some of us,” said site owner Marin and manager Andy in a message on social media. The same text can now be found on a mostly blank page that replaced Relic Castle last night.

This is just the latest salvo in the war against Pokémon mods and fan content. Recently, a seven-year-old YouTube video featuring modded Pokémon in Call of Duty was taken down, too. Some fear The Pokémon Company and Nintendo—spurred by the success of Palworld aka Pokémon with Guns—might be cracking down on content that might have been able to fly under the radar before. For now, we don’t know who ordered Relic Castle to be shut down, but for Pokémon content creators and modders, it doesn’t matter. Things are looking riskier than ever for them.

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