Update: WinterDrak has taken to Twitter to say that the game will continue development, just with different assets. "The game isn't dead, I just won't be using the Zelda characters. It will live on," he said when asked what would happen to copies that people had purchased. He also said that the naming and deliberate use of assets was intentional to help get publicity for the project. "I'd rather have lots of people enjoy the nostalgia than keep it a tiny project that isn't a fangame," he said.
Original Story: A 2D NES-style fan tribute to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has had the breath squeezed out of it by a Nintendo letter of unhappiness.
Breath of the NES, a project by fan WinterDrake, had created the game as homage to the original Legend of Zelda, something that Nintendo itself showed off at GDC this year as a prototype for how Breath of the Wild began. It had already gone through several iterations of his project, and was drawing fan interest for its nostalgia, although a lot of the Breath of the Wild parts had not been added yet. Now, it appears WinterDrake won't get the chance to finish it.
"Looks like @NintendoAmerica wasn't a big fan of Breath of the NES!" WinterDrake said in a Twitter post, adding a copy of the letter he received from Nintendo. It's a classic Cease & Desist letter designed to continue to protect Nintendo's IP. And just that quickly, the download for the game has been pulled.
While this is another sad case of a fun project pulled down by the corporate "bully," it really should not come as a surprise. Nintendo is notoriously consistent about going after anything that might infringe on any of its IPs, even if said projects are free. It is easy to bash Nintendo for banging on the little guy, but fans who begin these projects run the risk and many may even go in knowing this is an eventuality.
Note to future creators: Keep it original. Developers and publishers don't like you messing with their properties, no matter how well-intentioned.
You can take a look at Nintendo's own 2D Breath of the Wild prototype in this video from GDC 2017. Skip ahead to 18 minutes.