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The real reason Nintendo sued this Pokemon-loving streamer

Recently, popular streamer and TikTok star Pokeprincxss announced that she had been sued by Nintendo for copyright violations. As a result, she's been forced to give money to the company and has rebranded as @digitalprincxss across her social media platforms, including Twitch, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.

Pokeprincxss, who has 1.9 million followers on TikTok, gained fans for her love of Pokemon as well as her gaming content. On her Twitch channel, she plays games like Valorant, Among Us, and the super-creepy Layers of Fear in front of her more than 54,000 followers. She is also known for her adult content: She has a page on Pornhub and offers NSFW subscription-based content on OnlyFans as well. Her real name is Marissa Cloutier, and she started out at age 18 by showing off her collection of Japanese pocket monsters.

In her YouTube video explaining the situation and name change, she admits that she is at fault. She called herself "young and dumb" as she underwent the process of creating merchandise for her brand. She assumed, she said, that because you could do spoofs of copyrighted material, she would be allowed to include Pokemon-related items in her designs. Additionally, the streamer noted, trying to get her username trademarked using LegalZoom apparently caused Nintendo to look at her situation more closely.

Following these actions, Pokeprincxss received a cease-and-desist order from Nintendo through her LegalZoom representative, who then withdrew from the case because it had become a third-party matter. In reality, as she told GameRant in an interview, she didn't get sued, as there was no court case involved. But, Nintendo did make the threat to do so if she didn't change certain things. She used the services of an actual copyright lawyer to see herself through the rest of the process, which she notes lasted about six months.

According to the video, she was told that Nintendo reserved all rights to the profit she gained from selling merchandise with images of Nintendo properties on them. They also told her she can no longer use the name "Pokeprincxss," especially since, combined with the use of Pokeballs in her merchandising, people might become confused about her association with the Pokemon brand.

"Obviously I had really poor judgment, but it was never my intention to be malicious or hurt the company," she said. "There are so many other people that sell Pokemon-related things like fan art and everything like that, so that's the reason why I didn't really see anything wrong with it." She told GameRant that she paid back $30,000 to subscribers but would not divulge how much she ended up owing Nintendo. She said she has earned a lot of it back through the ensuing publicity and other efforts.

Following this news, the newly dubbed Digitalprincxss received support from fans, who wondered why a large company like Nintendo would need to pick on a small creator who had been using the same name for eight years without issue. Others called the company greedy. They, too, pointed out that many other people use the partial word "poke-" in their usernames, and the company doesn't seem to care. However, the personality has her detractors, too, and many of them seem to agree with her (within the comments under her YouTube video) that Nintendo was protecting its image in an appropriate way.

The difference between herself and others is clear, the social media star says: She's listed as an adult entertainer. And Pokemon is, after all, a family-friendly IP. "Nintendo doesn't want people to think I'm in any shape or form affiliated with them or that I have a partnership with them, and it all comes back to me being an adult entertainer," she said.

To celebrate the name change, which she says has been thoroughly vetted, Digitalprincxss' website is now selling a T-shirt that includes a gravestone with the words "RIP Pokeprincxss" and has a "mean little businessman behind." She is also celebrating all the support she's received with an Animal Crossing Nintendo Switch giveaway. So she clearly hasn't lost her sense of humor, nor is she slowing down. And she remains positive, both about her prospects and about Nintendo generally. She notes that as part of her industry, making mistakes is par for the course, and she just simply needs to learn from them. 

"It's kind of a cool thing to say that [...] the ones that made my childhood so cool, they finally noticed me," she said. It's nice that she can see a silver lining and use that as an impetus to move forward.