Garry’s Mod is taking down 20 years’ worth of “Nintendo Stuff”


"5ario" here won't be on the <em>Garry's Mod</em> Steam Workshop for long.
Enlarge / “5ario” here won’t be on the Garry’s Mod Steam Workshop for long.

The popular long-running Source-engine physics sandbox Garry’s Mod has begun to take down Nintendo-related items from the game’s Steam Workshop page, following an apparent takedown request from Nintendo.

In a Steam Community news post, mod creator Garry Newman writes that some items have already been taken down as part of an “ongoing process, as we have 20 years of uploads to go through.” Indeed, combing through the over 1.8 million Garry’s Mod Steam Workshop add-ons to find all of Nintendo’s copyrighted content is sure to be a significant task. A simple search for Pokemon Thursday morning turns up nearly 3,000 seemingly copyright-infringing results on its own.

“If you want to help us by deleting your Nintendo-related uploads and never uploading them again, that would help us a lot,” Newman jokes in the announcement post.

“Honestly, this is fair enough”

Nintendo is far from alone in having its IP poached for Garry’s Mod content, of course. As of this writing, the front page of the game’s Steam Workshop listing shows seemingly unauthorized copyrighted content related to Metal Gear Solid, Warcraft, and the band Gorillaz, to name just a few.

But Nintendo is the one that has sent a takedown notice for its copyrighted content, continuing a long tradition of zealous IP protection from the company across the Internet. In 2022, Nintendo also went after a database of custom Steam icons used for third-party game launchers that hook into the platform.

“Honestly, this is fair enough,” Newman writes of the Garry’s Mod takedown request. This is Nintendo’s content, and what they allow and don’t allow is up to them. They don’t want you playing with that stuff in Garry’s Mod—that’s their decision. We have to respect that and take down as much as we can.”

While Newman writes the takedowns are “not a mistake” and that the request “came from Nintendo,” some in the community are publicly suspecting the request actually came from a “malicious troll” or “unknown assailant” who is just trying to mess with the community. In a social media post, Newman said he has heard from many people making those accusations and that “we need to take these things seriously (particularly from Nintendo), but we also can’t let people misuse DMCA takedowns.”

Moderating the sprawling Garry’s Mod community can be difficult even when copyright isn’t involved. Last year, Newman decided to bar servers that involved “nazi glorification” after he became a parent and began to worry about what his own children might encounter online.

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