YouTuber Desmond “Etika” Amofah passed away in 2019 via suicide, leaving a devastated fanbase. In August 2019, “CptnAlex” ran a successful Indiegogo campaign for “Etikons,” custom Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers with an Etika theme where proceeds from each sale would go to the JED Foundation, promoting mental health awareness among teenagers and young adults. Those who backed the campaign received their Etikons, but the remainder went to CptnAlex’s Etsy store to be sold. However, it has newly come to light that Nintendo sent a cease-and-desist letter regarding those Etikons to CptnAlex back in September, and now many are frustrated with and disappointed in Nintendo.
First campaign was not successful.
Second campaign was successful.
Remaining stock of Joycons were for sale my Etsy since last year.
Nintendo sent me a cease and desist at the end of September.
Here’s a picture of me with a bin of all the shells I can’t sell anymore pic.twitter.com/ytdWzObh9x
— CptnAlex (@Cptn_Alex) December 7, 2020
Per Dot Esports, Nintendo demanded that CaptAlex cease sales of the Etika memorial controllers specifically due to a trademark issue. The text “JoyCon Boyz” appears on the controllers, referencing the name of Etika’s fandom. The similar “Joy-Con” is Nintendo’s trademarked name for the controller, creating what Nintendo perceives as an infringement issue.
A “JoyConBoyz” YouTube channel has subsequently posted a video declaring that Nintendo “hates” them. But in a comment, they elaborate, “Nintendo’s Legal and Executive teams are by far the worst, most outdated, money-hungry people that exist in the gaming scene, and (that’s) where my problem lies. I just want Nintendo to change for the better, and stop treating us like trash.”
Nintendo is within its legal right to halt sales of Etikons. However, the optics of sending a cease-and-desist over the sale of Etika memorial controllers intended to support charity are bad for Nintendo.