Hand-Drawn Game Guides creator Philip Summers knew it was a legal risk to launch his gorgeous, story book-style Nintendo game guides on Kickstarter, but it was a risk he was willing to take. When you pour through all the gorgeous artwork of his unofficial Metroid, Contra, Ninja Gaiden and Legend of Zelda guides, you can see why.
The Kickstarter for the project showed off a range of fantastic, full-colour comic walkthroughs designed to take players through the complex missions and goals of each featured game. According to Summers, the intention behind these guides was to replicate the feeling of leafing through a good game guide as a child, with all the wonder and spectacle that used to go along with it.
But while the game guides look absolutely stunning — and were a major success on Kickstarter, raking in over $300,000 — the project has now been cancelled, courtesy of Nintendo.
In a recent update, Summers shared the grim news that the books would no longer go into production.
“Tonight I pulled the plug on the Hand-Drawn Game Guides Kickstarter. Yes, for exactly the reason you think it’s for,” he said in an update on Kickstarter. “I had hoped that I could successfully navigate any legal trouble, but alas I wasn’t able to do so.”
For fans of the project, it’s a major bummer — but Summers says he’s still grateful for the experience.
“Of course I’m disappointed, but I completely understand why this happened,” he explained. “It’s okay. I’m not mad.”
For now, all orders for the game guides will be cancelled, although Summers says he’ll find out whether the project is truly dead in the water “in the coming days”. Backers can expect a cancellation email shortly if they don’t already have one, and all money will be refunded via your payment method.
It really is a disappointing turn of events.
While these game guides were always going to have IP issues with Nintendo being notoriously strict about protecting their assets, each book is a lavish work of art, created after painstaking hours of work. Summers’ talent and passion is clear in every page and frankly, his game guides look far better than anything else on the market.
Here’s to hoping Summers is still able to produce these guides in some capacity, whether that be through official channels or an entire rework of the project.
These Hand-Drawn Game Guides deserve their time in the sun, and a place on all our shelves, regardless of Nintendo’s efforts to nuke the project.