Nintendo Says “Heyday” of Video Game Piracy Over, Studies Disagree

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Nintendo claims that the new 3DS will have the most sophisticated anti-piracy software out there (and is smartly remaining mum on the details). Not that it really matters though: Nintendo UK general manager David Yarnton told CVG that because of an influx of laws against piracy, the “heyday” of buying illegal games is pretty much over. “There’s definitely a step change coming and you see it in various countries around the world,” he said to the website. “I think perhaps there’s been a ‘heyday of piracy’ and we’ve now seen a lot of rules come in to stop it,” he said.

“Recently there’s been some quite significant cases where there were some grey areas as far as IP protection goes,” Yarnton added. “Recently there have been a couple of rulings with R4s where people have been found guilty and had quite significant sentences against them…. This now makes a precedent that potentially in the future it won’t be a viable thing for people to do.”

This comes out in the wake of the report that the Association of UK Interactive Entertainment (UKIE) estimates that for every one legitimate game purchased, four are bought illegally.  Even at a 1:1 ratio, the organization estimates it will cost about $2.38 billion U.S. dollars in sales a year and about 1,000 fewer jobs for people in the industry. For the 3DS, Nintendo must have come up with something innovative to say it is their toughest anti-piracy technology of all time, but the grim reality is chances are in a matter of weeks or months someone’s going to find a way to crack and mod it.

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