Nintendo Issue Cease and Desist Against Etika Joy-Con Shells Sold for Charity

Nintendo Cease and Desist Etika Joy-con

Nintendo have issued a cease and desist order against the creator of Etika-themed Joy-Con shells, who was selling them for charity.

On June 19th, 2019 Desmond Amofah (also known as streamer Etika) went missing for almost seven days. He uploaded a video detailing his struggle with mental health issues on the 20th, with a suicide note contained in the video’s description.

Etika’s belongings were found on the walkway of the Manhattan Bridge on the 19th. On June 24th, a body was discovered in the East River, identified as Etika the next day and ruled as suicide by drowning. Etika had exhibited erratic and suicidal behavior in April 2019.

Fans helped raise awareness of mental health issues after Etika’s death. One of these included “Etikons“- Nintendo Joy-Cons shells with a design and logo based on Etika’s online profile by content creator Captain Alex. This was due to Etika’s support for and enjoyment of Nintendo games.

While the initial IndieGoGo campaign failed, the second campaign succeeded, and the Etikons would continue to be sold via Etsy. Proceeds of the sales went to the JED Foundation for teen and young adult mental health awareness, and raised over $10,000 USD as of December 2019.

Now, YouTuber JoyConBoyz has stated in a recent video he reached out to Captain Alex, asking when the Etikons would next be on sale. Alex replied “I wont [sic] be restocking them because Nintendo asked me to stop.”

Alex further explained that the reason for this was due to the design having the word joy-con on them. As such, it is likely Nintendo requested Alex stop so that the Etikons would not be mistaken for an officially licensed Nintendo product. The design also features an adapted version of the Nintendo Switch logo.

As pointed out by JoyConBoyz, the text on the Etikons reads “JOYCONBOYZ;” rather than Joy-Con, and as such should class as parody and fair use. While JoyConBoyz joked about Nintendo copyright striking his YouTube channel for saying the word Joy-Con, a company would copyright claim the video. However, this was not Nintendo (the company’s name was Godokaisha).

Captain Alex would later reveal that Nintendo had issued a Cease and Desist order at the end of September 2020. He showed an image (above) of himself with a large bucket full of the Etikon shells he was now unable to sell.

VGC report that Nintendo and Etika trended on Twitter after the news became public, with 150,000 tweets criticizing Nintendo for their recent actions. This did not just include the Etikons however.

In late November Nintendo of America issued a cease and desist order to Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament The Big House. This was due to them using an emulator with netplay to play the game, honoring the COVID-19 quarantine orders.

After requesting tournament organizers not use “illegally copied versions of the game in conjunction with a mod called ‘Slippi’ during their online event” they refused. This is when Nintendo of America issued the cease and deist. The cancellation of the tournament led to outcry, and the #FreeMelee hashtag on Twitter.

This week Nintendo of America cancelled the Splatoon 2 North America Open, after teams changed their names in support of the cancelled tournament. Tournament organizers stated the reason for the cancellation was due to “unexpected executional challenges.” The outcry to all of these events have culminated, and have brought older decisions gamers were critical of to the forefront again.

Some portray Nintendo as jealous of a program that has better online than their own game (Slippi features rollback netcode while Super Smash Bros. Ultimate does not), or attempting to keep a tyrannical hold over a game they no longer sell. There is also fresh discussion of fan games Nintendo have issues cease and desist orders to [1, 2, 3].

There may be a chance that the Etikons will return however. Captain Alex tweeted that should #FreeCptnAlex trend (referencing the #FreeMelee and #FreeSplatoon hashtags protesting the tournament cancellations) he would launch a new Indiegogo campaign for Etikons with Nintendo references removed.

Image: IndieGoGo, Twitter

, ,


Ryan was a former Niche Gamer contributor.

Where'd our comments go? Subscribe to become a member to get commenting access and true free speech!