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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Meme Run ran away off Wii U

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Cause: Acts of stupidity. Effect: Removal.

Infamously bad game Meme Run from Nintendo indie developer Ninja Pig Studios was removed this week from the Nintendo eShop. It also had its community removed from Miiverse, as well as its game description on KoopaTV first wrote about this disaster when it was first announced, telling you to instead play PC Game of the Year A Koopa's Revenge 2. It came out on December 18, 2014. So it lasted, y'know, two and a half months.

So am I happy? Sure! It was a terrible game. It attracted a lot of Miiverse's morons in a few centralised communities, I guess. Its developer, Jordan, regularly [ab]used his Verified User status (which he still has) to make announcements to Miiverse full of spammy content. Miiverse has a "Posts From Verified Users" section that is prominently provided at the Communities tab. Jordan often appears here. (Jordan is well aware of his Miiverse strategy to attract kids (8-14 years old, according to Jordan). "I would relate to kids through what they like." However, he believes that YouTube drives sales, not Miiverse.)

So you're left wondering: How did Meme Run survive Nintendo's approval process, and why is it taken down? We have answers to... at least one of those. Oh, and thoughts on Jordan's thought process.

According to a recent interview referenced throughout this article with Jordan from an indie podcast (but before Meme Run was taken down), Meme Run was completed in a few days and a few more to put it on Wii U. This was expedited by his previous release of IQ Test. Jordan contacted Nintendo to get a developer kit, and worked on it with his brother. ...That said, he spent a lot more time marketing games than developing. And waiting.

Ninja Pig Studios Meme Run Nintendo creative freedom legal concerns Jordan Schuetz
...They apparently allowed too much, as it turns out.

"It took way too long." Jordan said it took 3-4 months to get approved by Nintendo, due to legal hurdles. Apparently it failed their legal tests three times! Despite that, Jordan worked hard spamming Miiverse and influencing YouTube celebrities to show off the game. He also went on 4chan and trashed his own game anonymously in order to hype it.

(Sounds like something KoopaTV should do, actually.)

Jordan takes pride that he can release a purposefully-bad game and have it apparently make relatively good sales through a wave of hype.

Still, it's gone now. Why? A Digital Millennium Copyright Act claim.

Meme Run taken down. Trollface copyright infringement.
The official story from Reddit.

Basically, the trollface is copyrighted by this dude named Whynne. This one. It appeared prominently in Meme Run. Apparently Meme Run was successful enough (defying my personal expectations) to catch Whynne's attention. So Meme Run is gone. It might come back if Ninja Pig Studios changes things!

Either way, Jordan's entire focus with Meme Run, in terms of making games with the primary goal of making them watchable, is exactly my fear for the future of game development. His gauge to if a game can be successful is if the talentless YouTubers will like it. His primary audience when making his games ARE YOUTUBERS. In the interest of the evil Ninja Pig Studios marketing department (which is also Jordan). The kind of marketing department that so many indies are afraid to be subjected to in a bigger studio. (Which is why their games flop.) Sure, it'll get your game more exposure, but the gaming industry is suffering as an art forme as a result. It's no longer the case where developers care about if a game is fun to play. They only care if it's fun to watch. Games are regressing from their potential as an independent art forme and going back to film. Games are supposed to be unique!

Oh, who am I kidding? Can I really bash Jordan for having the kind of mind that KoopaTV does? Look at KoopaTV's games! They're absurd and funny, like Trayvon Tyson's Punch-Out!! and Defend Anita Sarkeesian! Jordan suggests that indie developers should take an already-existing game type (Punch-Out!!, Beat Up Anita Sarkeesian), put your own spin on it (George Zimmerman trial characters, gun-friendly message), and have it be funny (...have you played them? Of course they're funny!). We're proud of our works, and Jordan is... proud of his, I guess. You should play ours. You shouldn't play his. The difference between us and him is that our games make you think ("truth") along with laugh ("levity"), while his games have no such meaning to them.

Actually, and hypocritically, we're offering huge points in the KoopaTV Loyalty Rewards Program if you do Let's Plays of KoopaTV's games. But that's not for the primary purpose of promoting them, it's more to... preserve them. So we don't have a minimum bar that you have 10,000 subscribers or anything like Jordan does. So try your hand! It'll be... fun!

KoopaTV is all about having fun and how far the genre of videogame commentary website can be taken. You can help it go far by doing our promotion work for KoopaTV, and also offering your own thoughts!

Someone took KoopaTV's offer and Let's Played Trayvon Tyson's Punch-Out!! and it's amazing.
KoopaTV's games have more meaning than a game dedicated to shooting gay people. Clearly.


  1. 0_0 wait. I downloaded Meme Run on my Wii U. Thought it was pretty decent. Kinda loud, but decent.

    1. You now have one of the rarest Wii Us in existence.


    2. Thx! ^_^ My Samsung tablet must be rare also, because I still have the original FlappyBird installed on there.

    3. Yeah!

      Apparently people are already selling their Meme Run-installed Wii Us on eBay to try to cash in on the scarcity.

      (I was gonna include that in the article but... guess I didn't!)

    4. Yeah. I'm never removing those games.

    5. Good idea.

      It's not like they take up much space anyway, right?

    6. Yeah. Your right (Sorry it took long to reply. Fell asleep).

    7. We encourage falling asleep, too.
      That said, Meme Run can come back, and then the value of your Wii U will drop. Unless you just disconnect it from the Internet, because I feel like if it comes back it'll send an automatic update to anyone who already owns Meme Run on their Wii U to make it copyright-compliant.

      (...I don't think KoopaTV has written about videogames and sleep deprivation. I'll put that in our Intranet article ideas. Thanks!)

    8. You have a point there (You're welcome, Ludwig. ^_^).

  2. "Can I really bash Jordan for having the kind of mind that KoopaTV does?"
    At least KoopaTV doesn't do it for money. Also, KoopaTV's "players" get rewarded for 'playing(?)' KoopaTV through ways such as the "KoopaTV Loyalty Rewards Program".

    1. Yeah, right, we don't do it for money.

      ...(Which might change later today.)

      Well, before this month began, we also "rewarded" you just for being here by, you know, giving amazing commentary every day with cool staff. For free.

  3. I wonder if the creator of trollface is the same person who currently owns the copyright, if this article is any example then they must be getting some kind of money. All that cash from a stupid face.

    The switch doesn't seem to have as many bad eshop games as the 3ds and WiiU did, but then again i really haven't spent a lot of time on the Switch eshop. I spend a lot of time looking at the 3ds's eshop and that is still filled to the brim with shovelware.

    1. The Switch's eShop is infamous for being loaded with shovelware.

    2. The more things change, the more things stay the same!

    3. It's because the Switch is so popular everyone wants to release things on it.


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