Another fan project based on a beloved game series has fallen. Nintendo has issued a cease-and-desist notice to the creators of the open source Pokémon MMO Pokenet (Google cache of the site here), requiring that they take down their website and surrender the pokedev.org domain name used for the game, claiming unauthorized use of Nintendo trademarks.
Pokenet was a work in progress, with the "Valiant Venonat" version of the beta nearing release, but it was already operating online at the time of shutdown. "Nushio," one of the programmers on the project, told us that over 7,000 players had logged time in the game, which set every player as a Pokémon trainer in the regions of Kanto and Johto (with more coming later). "You could even catch, evolve, trade," Nushio told Joystiq.
Nintendo faxed the takedown request in late March. "We kinda postponed closing the site, but after much talks within the devs, we decided to 'formally' close it down," Nushio said. "On April Fools, no less." Did he expect the game to meet with this end? "Of course not. Truth be told, we're not the only 'Poke-MMO-n' around this side of the net. We (were?) however, the only one that handed out the source code to whoever wanted it. I'm not sure if that's the reason they attempted to shut us down or not," adding, "We don't know what exactly we did different."