In a press release, Nintendo reveals that it had successfully completed a raid on Supreme Factory Limited, a software piracy company. With the help of the Hong Kong High Court, Nintendo manage to stop a global distribution of pirated software of its products. In addition, the Hong Kong High Court also froze Supreme Factory Limited’s assets.
This was the latest attempt for Nintendo at stopping video game piracy. Nintendo has previously won cases against other distributors of pirated games.
The raid lasted three days, from October 8th till October 10th. Nintendo managed to siege over 10,000 devices that let you copy and play Nintendo DS and Nintendo Wii games. Documents were also found connecting Supreme Factory Limited with French-based company, Divineo SARL. Assets for Divineo SARL were also frozen by the Hong Kong High Court.
Among the devices are mod chips for the Nintendo Wii. Mod chips are infamous for allowing gamers the ability to play pirated games on their systems. Mod chips became popular due to the advent of disc media storage on video game consoles. Before disc media, video game consoles used the proprietary cartridges to store game data, which are harder to pirate.
With disc media, blank discs are not only readily availble to buy, but also very cheap. Not to mention that gamers can easily pirate games by using disc-burning programs on their own computer.
Mod chips require you to open up your video game system and manually solder different wires. If done successfully, it allows the system to override the copy right protection and other anti-privacy data that prevents pirated games from running.
The Nintendo Gamecube was notoriously hard to develop a mod chip for. This is mainly due to the mini-DVDs storage and complex file system for games.
In addition, mod chips development for next-generation consoles in the Nintendo Wii, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 have been hampered due to all three systems ability to update their firmware. By doing this, mod chips can easily be disabled.
The Nintendo DS, as oppose to the Nintendo Wii, requires the use of flash cards. After flashing the Nintendo DS memory, pirated games can be played on the system. Pirated Nintendo DS games can be easily downloaded from the Internet. A simple Google search with the right keywords will be all you need most of the time.
Nintendo and the rest of the gaming industry have lost hundreds of millions of dollars in sales due to video game piracy in 2006 alone. Game piracy is crucial blow for an industry that is rapidly evolving; especially today, where high profile games cost tens of millions to produce.
Press Release, “HONG KONG RAID NETS 10,000 PRODUCTS USED TO PLAY PIRATED NINTENDO SOFTWARE.” Nintendo Press Room.