Keep PokeDroid and Other Applications Like It!
Keep PokeDroid and Other Applications Like It!
I remember my first encounter with Pokemon. It was on the back of a Nintendo Power magazine, a collection of strange but somehow fascinating creatures with the famous slogan, “Gotta Catch Them All” on the page. Of those on it, the one that stood out most to me was the dragon looking appearance of what I later learned to be “Charizard.” This compelled me towards purchasing not just the original Red with this magnificent creature on it, but also Blue and later Yellow, Gold and Silver, Crystal, and every extension of the game there after. Pokemon Stadium One and Two, Pokemon Mystery Dungeons, “Hey You, Pikachu!” and other games that deviated from the general “Gotta Catch Them All” theme (including Super Smash Brothers and it’s following sequels) line my game shelves, as well as those of the family members and friends I play with. Since high school and through college, even after, I remained devoted to the games and the thrill the very first generation of the game had provided.
And, yet, I find my heart now hardened against the producers of this same wonderful world.
On the Android Market place exists (or did exist) a wonderful application called “PokeDroid.” I had sought out an application like this one for some time, hoping for an easy alternative to looking up the information on my phone in regards to location of Pokemon as well as just to have the pictures and stats of them nearby for easy access while on the go. This application exceeded every expectation I had. The designer, Nolan Lawson, was constantly working on his program, updating and modifying it into the perfect Pokedex. PokeDroid could read out the description of Pokemon like the real Pokedex in the show, tell you the Type of the Pokemon (Fire, Water, etc), where to locate them, the Gender Ratio, Egg Group, types of attacks they learn, the level learned, the Abilities (and what they did), Base Stats, Hatch Steps, Catch Rate, the evolutionary level or requirement to evolve, HM and TMs that could be used or Tutored, even two separate content modifications that could allow for Shiny sprites, Cries of the Pokemon, and their footstep shapes. NEVER did Nolan place this as a paid service, the PokeDroid and the PokeDroid Extras (which provided the Cries and Footsteps) were free of charge. The Shiny sprite application was listed under a “donation” service, which, given the amount of work he’d done and continued to do, is fairly understandable and only a $1.99 for his efforts.
How does this have to do with my sudden change of heart and disappointment in a company I’ve come to expect great things from?
Recently, Nolan received a copyright claim from The Pokemon Company. Apparently, many other Pokedex applications had already been removed or in the process of removal, and Nolan was asked to do the same. While trying to get in touch with the company, hoping to keep PokeDroid up, he changed the Donate PokeDroid to a free service, hoping that would be enough to appease them. Upon getting in touch with the company, however, the legal representative advised: “TPC [The Pokemon Company’s] stance is apparently that they don’t want any Pokedex or Pokemon-related apps at all for the Android platform. They feel that such apps infringe upon their copyrights and compete with the print versions of the strategy guides.”
So, while the PokeDroid application has NO walkthrough guide like Pokemon.Marriland (http://pokemon.marriland.com/black_white/walkthrough) or GameFaqs (http://www.gamefaqs.com/ds/995081-pokemon-white-version/faqs) or Psypoke (http://www.psypokes.com/bw/walkthrough.php) or various other websites a simple Google search can do, it is seen as a BIGGER THREAT to the printed media version? The same information PokeDroid has, which can be found on Serebii.net (http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-bw/), Pokemon.Marriland (http://pokemon.marriland.com/black_white/pokedex/), Bulbapedia (http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Category:Pokémon), and whatever other sites a search online can provide?
The Pokemon Company, so far as we can be aware (what with all these sites online), has not taken any action against these forms of information. Is the difference that one is online and the other is an application? These same phones, the Androids, that can access this application CAN ALSO GO ONLINE. They can go to these SAME WEBSITES and view the SAME INFORMATION. Therefore, what motivation does The Pokemon Company have for getting rid of these applications? Is it truly because they fear the printed copy will be less valuable even though it has MORE information than this application does, with the walkthroughs, the how tos, and the printed Pokedex?
I cannot speak for others, I can only speak for myself. As a fan of Pokemon, one who has followed it from childhood to adulthood, I can only express the disappointment that clings like bile to the back of my throat. I will not buy another game from them, the magic of Pokemon dispelled in the same swift motion that takes PokeDroid away from us.
I, who have followed, and bought printed media for each generation while owning this app.
Please, for Nolan who showed his love by creating this application and the injustice of the claims The Pokemon Company is making, consider adding your signiture so that we might change their mind.
In response to my letter, excluding the last sentence, this is what the Pokemon Support Team sent along with my counter:
Ticket has been closed.
We appreciate your candid feedback concerning the Pokemon Company's stance towards pay-to-use mobile applications and your ticket will be forwarded to the proper department.
Please understand that the Pokemon Company strives to please it's fanbase while still protecting it's intellectual property. We hope that some day you will return to Pokemon.
Pokemon Support Staff
Dear Pokemon Support Staff,
Truly, I can understand wanting to protect Satoshi Tajiri's creation so I offer no dispute towards an actions that might be taken against, as you put it, "pay-to-use mobile applications."
However, per my prior letter to you, PokeDroid is NOT a "pay-to-use mobile application." Like Marriland.Pokemon, Serebii.net, Bulbapedia, and others of the breed, it is FREE. As was the PokeDroid Extra version which allowed cries and footprints to be added to the original. The only disputable one would have been the "Donate PokeDroid" which was more for a token gesture due to the efforts Nolan had made in the designs of his PokeDroid with the benefit of getting a Shiny skin package for the original PokeDroid. Upon your cease and desist order, he discontinued the donate option and made it FREE. Therefore, NONE of PokeDroid is now a "pay-to-use mobile application" and no longer a threat towards The Pokemon Company's intellectual property or, at least, no more so than any of the other fan based websites. In fact, in the "About PokeDroid" part of the app it says, and has always said: "I am in no way affiliated with Nintendo; I'm just another Pokemon fan with too much time on his hands. All of the Pokemon names and designs are the intellectual property of Nintendo, Game Freak, and Creatures Inc."
Based on this information, I could hope you would reconsider your stance. After all, "Pokemon 2000" proclaims "One voice can make a difference, one voice can change the world," does it not? And yet, I find I am not so naive as to simply think my voice alone is enough to change anything. Hence, we shall be working on providing The Pokemon Company with 1,000 voices in unison, all in favor Nolan's app. Already, signatures are coming in. Can we reach our goal? Will that change your mind? Perhaps, perhaps not. Either way, the word will be spread. For, if you can deem something like PokeDroid as a potential threat to The Pokemon Company, even while it's free and states it is in no way trying to claim responsibility for Satoshi Tajiri's work, can you not also deem the aforementioned sites as such? What of fanfiction, fan art, and player forums? Thus, we shall go to the forums of the fans, to seek their compassion, understanding, and ire. Surely if those in the fanbase you wish to please are truly so important to you, you will listen to our words:
" I signed the petition too. I can't stand it when huge producers like the Pokemon company wrecks stuff like this. I used to have such respect for them too. :( "-Alba
" Oh, so now they are after that eh? Copyright scoundrals. The same can be said of Shopro. Not on my watch it isn't." -SamPD
" i signed it. btw eevee training is a blast with that app.yeah i said it. it makes that repetitive bull fun" -masterwolf2
More continue to come in. Some with comments, some just signatures. As a fanfiction writer, I strongly sympathies with Nolan. We, who do not create for profit, create from a love of the original. From those memories of our first starter Pokemon, of playing under blankets when we should have been asleep, of the desire to catch that blasted Abra who always Teleports away, to the new generations we came to love, and our own dreams and designs that mingle in this world of Satoshi Tajiri's that he was so kind to share. We spread our joy to others with our gifts, be it writing, art, or designing a nifty PokeDex tool for on the go where a physical copy can't follow, and try to show them why those of us who society deems "too old to play Pokemon" can, do, and continue to. If anything, you should be THANKING Nolan for drawing fans of old and new into playing Pokemon MORE or even paying him for a product he's composed that has standards most profit companies do not.
It is my greatest hope you will reconsider but, till then, word shall be spread and signatures gathered till ten thousand voices shout at once:
"PLEASE KEEP POKEDROID AND OTHER APPLICATIONS LIKE IT!"
Please, consider passing this link around or, if you want, contact them directly. If they care about pleasing their fanbase, let them know why we think this is wrong (though please keep it civil). They can be reached here:
TPC's contact page: http://support.pokemon.com/ics/support/default.asp?deptID=15227
Nintendo's contact page: http://www.nintendo.com/corp/contact.jsp
Also, Nolan writes a wonderful piece himself here, if you'd like to read: http://nolanlawson.com/2011/05/26/on-pokedroids-removal/