After almost 10 years, unofficial Pokemon website known for sharing fan-made games shuts down after reportedly receiving a DMCA takedown notice

Pokemon Ash hugging team
(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

Popular Pokemon fan website Relic Castle, which has been running since 2014, has been taken offline after those in charge of it allegedly received a DMCA takedown notice. The website previously functioned as a forum for Pokemon fans to talk, as well as a place to share fan-made Pokemon games.

The details of the alleged DMCA notice haven't been shared, so it's not been confirmed if the takedown comes directly from The Pokemon Company itself, or what exact reasoning was given for it. It seems likely that it could be related to the fan games that were shared via the website, although it's worth noting that the website didn't host these games directly – it instead allowed links to be posted to them. 

"It is with heavy heart that I announce that the Relic Castle website has been taken down following a DMCA takedown notice," a statement posted by the Relic Castle Twitter account reads. 

"Relic Castle has always been a non-profit, ad-free, tight-knit community and we pride ourselves in what we have achieved," it continues. "Members have felt at home, made friends, and even careers with us. It is with deep regret that I have to inform you that the forum part of this community, which was to turn 10 years old this year, has had to come to an end. With over 20,000 members and 65,000 posts, Relic Castle was a home to many of us."

Before being taken down, the website's code of conduct (which is still viewable via the Wayback Machine) stated that distributing and linking to "illegal goods" such as "pirated movies, games, music, ROMs or other disc images of games" was not allowed. Furthermore, it stated that "action will be taken to remove the offending material" if any was shared. However, it did allow users to share ROM hacks, but stated that these were only permitted if they were "provided as a patch and not the ROM itself."

Again, at this point it's not been confirmed if the reported DMCA came directly from Pokemon. Just this month, Don McGowan, former chief legal officer and business affairs at The Pokemon Company, spoke about the process that goes into taking fan projects offline. It was noted at the time that just because the company finds out about a project doesn't mean that it'll instantly issue a takedown – it first waits "to see if they get funded." McGowan added: "If they get funded then that's when you engage. No one likes suing fans."

Relic Castle has shared its gratitude for its users, and rounded off its statement saying: "Thank you for making Relic Castle as awesome and life-changing as it has been for some of us."

While you're here, be sure to check out our ranking of the best Pokemon games.

Catherine Lewis
News Writer

I'm one of GamesRadar+'s news writers, who works alongside the rest of the news team to deliver cool gaming stories that we love. After spending more hours than I can count filling The University of Sheffield's student newspaper with Pokemon and indie game content, and picking up a degree in Journalism Studies, I started my career at GAMINGbible where I worked as a journalist for over a year and a half. I then became TechRadar Gaming's news writer, where I sourced stories and wrote about all sorts of intriguing topics. In my spare time, you're sure to find me on my Nintendo Switch or PS5 playing through story-driven RPGs like Xenoblade Chronicles and Persona 5 Royal, nuzlocking old Pokemon games, or going for a Victory Royale in Fortnite.