Think twice before clicking that magnet link button, how piracy may kill Wii


It seems like just yesterday when I was passing around copied floppy disks to all my friends at recess of Maniac Mansion. Even back then developers were plagued by rampant piracy that they attempted to curb, and I would get phone calls well into the night asking what the code for the door was that was located in the instructions manual. Today piracy hasn’t gone anywhere, and in fact one could argue that with the advent of broadband internet connections, piracy is bigger and badder than ever.

I don’t claim to be a saint when it comes to this subject. I have downloaded my share of music and games in my day, but this editorial on IGN written by Richard George really got me thinking about the state of piracy in the video game industry today and it is troubling indeed.

Over one million copies of Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Mario Sports Mix were downloaded last year according to TorrentFreak. Even more troubling is the fact that Xenoblade Chronicles was downloaded 950,000 times, with most of the downloads originating in North America. It’s easy to see why so many gamers on this side of the pond would take to downloading one of last year’s most sought after titles on Wii, we just didn’t know when or if the game would be coming our way. In fact, many gamers took to drastic measures in an attempt to get the game they wanted to play because Nintendo of America went on record in saying the game wasn’t happening. Eventually Nintendo made an about face, but the damage may have already been done.

By now, many gamers who may have wanted to play Xenoblade Chronicles have either torrented themselves a copy, or like myself have had a copy imported. Neither of these bode will for the future, because if not enough copies of Xenoblade sell when the game finally arrives this April, the powers that be at NoA may decide that it is the last game of its kind they are willing to take a chance on. How would you like to play a copy of The Last Story sometime this generation? Well if you are one of the million people who downloaded Xenoblade Chronicles last year, then that may never happen.

So what can we do? Well for starters vote with your wallets, there is still time to make amends. Even if you torrented the game, when April comes along give the developers at Monolith Soft a little support and give the game a purchase. If you care enough to modify your Wii, updating ISO after ISO just to play the newest, hottest games, then you should care enough to keep those games coming by spending a little money now and then.

Look. I’m not trying to condemn you if you happen to torrent a game or two. Some would even argue that to some extent, piracy leads to game sales; but for the sake of the future of our little white box and beyond, go out and buy Xenoblade when it lauches if you have the means. Your purchase will go a long way in the eyes of Nintendo, and could help to save Wii from a terrible 2012.

Eugene lives in New Mexico and has been a life long gamer since getting his hands on an NES. Always partial to Nintendo, Eugene has made it a point to keep informed on all things Mario.

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  1. Although I completely agree that piracy is wrong, it’s not going to kill the Wii. The Wii is in its sixth year. The lack of any game releases is going to finish it off. But for the number of consoles sold, it had a good life.

    Now maybe if you would have said, “it could kill the Wii U”, then you might have an argument. Though I heard 3DS has good anti-piracy measures, hopefully so will Wii U.

  2. I ment kill it in the sense that we may no longer receive high profile titles like Pandora’s Tower and The Last Story if NoA sees sales for Xenoblade are sub par.

    But I agree, Nintendo has made it’s money with Wii now that it is going on its sixth year, but if people continue to download as opposed to buying then things won’t get much better.

  3. I bought an import copy & preordered from Nintendo’s website when they started preorders. I made alot of noise with the people I know about this game. I intend to do the same about The Last Story… I hope what I’ve done will have some kind of domino-effect and have some effects in the end. 🙂

  4. “Look. I’m not trying to condom you if you happen to torrent a game or two. Some would even argue that to some extent, piracy leads to game sales; but for the sake of the future of our little white box and beyond, go out and buy Xenoblade when it lauches if you have the means. Your purchase will go a long way in the eyes of Nintendo, and could help to save Wii from a terrible 2012”.

    maybe you mean condone not condom.

  5. @futurepinoy
    No I ment condemn, but thanks for pointing out my error. Wow, what a silly mistake.

  6. I am going to import Pandora’s Tower and The Last Story for the same reason that I pirate anime before I buy the retail DVDs years later when it is localized. I’m impatient and spoiled by the nature of the internet, providing immediate gratification.

    I’m sorry, but if Nintendo of America doesn’t want to bring itself up to par, I believe that Gamestop is the one that pushed Nintendo into it (along with getting the exclusive for the CPP), then I will not support them.

    There are other publishers who make a living on bringing over great Japanese games, XSEED, NIS, Aksys, Atlus, and of course Square Enix, and if NoA doesn’t want to get in on it, I’ll let NoE get in on it for the same price.

  7. Do I get it right, that the game can already be pirated /imported and the official releas in NA is April? If so, how can anyone be surprised with the piracy numbers? And it is fault of Nintendo. If i am wrong, please, ignore my post ;).

  8. I, honestly, have never downloaded a free, illegal copy of a game, and it is precisely this reason that I never had. If everyone just downloaded the latest games they wanted for free, where would the game companies get any money toward making any new games without selling what they have? We can’t expect them to make good quality games for us for free, can we? If the games don’t make money, why make new ones? My game library is an honest one. Not very big (for being as big a gamer as I am), but definitely honest. Not saying it’s the end of the world if you get a couple, but I just don’t like it.

  9. …It hasn’t killed the PC. I Don’t think it’s going to kill any Console.

  10. This is really messed up, I am no saint myself but I don’t do this stuff anymore and haven’t done it in many, many years. I buy my music from Amazon, buy games from various retails, and buy my software and find a equivalent legal free version. I think some people are just attracted to stealing, and when it’s software it’s easier to do it since there is not physical object.

  11. It seems piracy is even more rampant among DS owners, and it never really seemed to hurt the DS (except for maybe the whole Rockstar Chinatown Wars fiasco). I think the Wii’s problems stem beyond just easy piracy. If 1 million copies of a single Wii game are pirated that only 1% of Wii consoles. I think the bigger problem is that there are too few Wii owners that are buying/playing anything besides SSBB, or Wii Sports (or collecting dust w/ their console).

  12. I’ve been a platinum MyNintendo/Club Nintendo member since forever. I’ve got Nintendo Power since I was 8, and I support all things NoA let’s me. Sometimes they let me down and don’t bring over some great games. Secret of Mana series, Golden Sun, Mother.. etc…

    Ya, I downloaded the PAL version. It’s really just not that interesting of a game to me. Sure it was a huge and quite pretty world, and to be fair I only gave it a 10-15 minute chance. It was just plain though… there’s bad guys, and you’re the good guys.. Fight! And the battle system just seemed too slow and meh.

    Pandora’s Tower was the one that had my attention for it’s unique story. Hopefully it gets brought over, but if not, oh well. I’ll enjoy it either way. Though when they say they aren’t bringing the games over the pond, but then they do a year later? Ya, of course they won’t sell for crap. Come on guys, this sorta thing is a pet peeve of mine. Look at PS3, you see all those JRPG’s? That, and solely that, is why I may buy a PSV or PS4 in the future.

  13. The Bottom Line

    I don’t really see anything wrong with people importing or downloading the game as long as they still purchase the US version when it is released. It would be as though they rented or demoed it before making their purchase. If someone who paid to import the game does not want to buy it again, then that is Nintendo’s fault for not letting them know that it would be available to buy in the US. However, it would be a problem if someone who downloaded the game and liked it enough to continue playing it does not purchase the US version because they can just play their downloaded copy instead. Again, as long as everyone who wants the game actually purchases it, regardless of if they already have it by whatever means, everything should be fine and/or dandy.

  14. “Again, as long as everyone who wants the game actually purchases it, regardless of if they already have it by whatever means, everything should be fine and/or dandy.” <-This, exactly. Nicely put Hyawatta.

  15. I don’t really care anymore about what games are coming out. We the consumer have no say in it at all. All we can do is play our drone role and feed off of what scraps they throw at us and love it. We are slaves to the video game industry and most of it is crap but we are brainwashed into thinking that these games are great but in reality they are not. There is nothing we can do except take it in the rear. I’m talking about all consoles and games made. They are there to make money not make us happy. Game developers look at their data and only then release their crap chutes upon us.

  16. @Mustache Killer

    That’s how business works. Trying to maximize profit is not an inherent evil, and if we didn’t like it, it would change to fit a happy medium over time, because they wouldn’t make money. It’s the same in every industry, especially one so heavily-influenced by licensing foreign IPs.

    Every single game company wants us to be happy–if we weren’t happy, they wouldn’t make money. In a game industry, the two go hand-in-hand.

    Nintendo just seems to be a bit exempt from the rule. They could release Pet Rock Simulator and make millions in profit, not just revenue, but if it’s not billions, then they won’t. It is baffling, but just the way that they want to keep their brand here–even going so far as to reject offers to license the game to other companies, for whatever reason. Don’t like it? Give your money to companies like XSEED, NIS, Atlus, Aksys, et al, who make and publish the games that you want to play.

    You do have a say in what you get here. Buy the games you like, and more will come. Buy games you don’t like, or are part of a very over-saturated genre, and you’ll get that. Buy nothing, and pirate, and eventually you will get nothing.

  17. @monkat and Mustache Killer

    I totally agree with you Monkat. I don’t think at all that companies are in it to have us “play our drone role and feed off of what scraps they throw at us” because if that were the case, they wouldn’t turn a profit.

    Of course there are a the Call of Duties and Maddens of the world that are an exception to the rule, but for the most part I think that this is a great time to be a gamer. Never before has there been a time in gaming where there is just so much of a variety to games to choose from that are of such high quality. I hate to disagree with you Mustache, but if games like Skyward Sword and Bioshock have brainwashed me in to thinking they are great when they are really not, well I guess don’t mind me as I keep drinking the kool-aid.

  18. very good points by Eugene and Monkat.

    with that, my 0.02:

    NOA should have released these english localized games for the Wii to the US along with Europe. Now the reason I say this is not because it would have prevented the pirating (that’s ridiculous, pirates gonna pirate), this 1,000,000 + downloaded statistic does NOT = 1,000,000+ potential bought copies lost. But it does suggest a loss of potential buys. It tells us that out of the million people who illegally downloaded this title, some if not most of them did it because they gave up on NOA releasing the title. (some of them did it because they didn’t want to wait… and the rest did it only because they could).

    NOA should have worked to get these titles, the localization was done, there was nothing more to do except release the darn games.

    Also, it seems some of the delay releasing some titles is because they want to hit a window of time when “nothing else worth buying” is up for sale, but for the Wii, there is nothing but skyward sword going on.

    I just hate it when these companies play a poor mouth over pirates and make them the excuse for them being to lazy to get these titles on a release schedule. I think the the world-wide gaming companies need to just have a single street date for all games and not stagger them by months. Come up with better, more release schedules and release the content that is localized. Especially is it’s DLC…

  19. sorry, my post is dumb. What I meant was a single street date release for a particular game, not one street date for every game… 😀

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