Blogging live to you and yours! It’s your boy TWOTALL4UFOOL! I wanted to react to a news story I heard over the weekend. Nintendo is suing two ROM distribution websites LoveROMS and LOVERETRO for Copyright Infringement, Trademark Infringement, and Unfair Competition. I have some very strong thoughts on this. Part of me agrees with Nintendo. They have every right to do this. They want to protect their properties and it looks like they are making examples of these websites. Another part of me feels it’s a bit of a grey area. Especially since these are games from past generation consoles. I feel with the resurgence in retro gaming there is money to be made and people downloading these classic titles off the internet means that companies such as Nintendo won’t be making money off them. I’ll explain both sides.
Now I don’t want to get into the details of the lawsuit but if you want to read the full 27 page document here’s the link. Nintendo over the years seems to be the only company that cares if websites are distributing ROMs of their games. Regardless of how old the game is. They are very strict when it comes to use of anything of their’s. Just check out their guidelines when it comes to putting video footage of their games on YouTube. Now if you look at the picture above. You probably would think that LoveROMS is a Nintendo sponsored site. It has Nintendo decked out all over the website. Now given Nintendo’s history whoever runs this site should’ve known better. They were kind of asking for it if you ask me. Using a bunch of Mario themes to deck out your ROM distribution website. LOL! Kinda of funny if you think about it. They have probably been targeted for a while.
Now with the resurgence in retro gaming you have to talk about a few things. The NES Classic Edition, the SNES Classic Edition, and Nintendo’s upcoming Online Service. Not to mention the retro games that Nintendo already sells on the Nintendo eShop. With distribution sites available where people can download ROMs and play them on emulators Nintendo see’s it as them not making money. Now I’ve talked about plenty of ways Nintendo can make some money. Maybe this will be a wake up call for them and now they know that people want to play their older classics and they find a way to make some money off of consumers. I hate to compare this to the music industry when Napster first came on the scene but this is very similar. In the end I see some kind of solution being made on how you can obtain classic games legally whether it be from Nintendo, or any other developer. Bottom line it’s Nintendo’s properties at the end of the day and they have every right to do what they feel is necessary to protect what’s theirs.
Now the other side to this is these games are old. And I understand why someone would opt to downloading a ROM and then using an emulator to play the game. Now SOME of these classic games you can play now but then there are others….. well you are just out of luck. It’s not like I can roll into a GameStop and buy a fresh new copy of Donkey Kong Country 2 or Super Mario All-Stars. They are not on the Nintendo eShop for the Switch, not on the SNES Classic so how am I going to play those games? A lot of these properties that Nintendo talks about in their lawsuit aren’t really available to consumers. How else are they going to play the games if they don’t have the original hardware? Part of me feels that if it is past generation games it’s not really hurting anyone. The games aren’t brand new. And if you do buy a physical copy of that game Nintendo (or whoever the developer is) isn’t getting a penny since that game is probably used. This is probably why we don’t see third party developers getting involved in such matters.
Now emulators and ROMs have been a grey area for a long time now. I personally don’t think these sites are going away. Someone else will come along and find a way to distribute ROMs once more. If you search Google real hard you can find whatever you want. I feel that if Nintendo and anyone else who cares should just make their original first party titles available for sell then you wouldn’t see very many ROM distribution websites. But until they come up with some solution it’s still just going to remain a grey area.
As for LoveROMS they have removed all Nintendo related content from their website, and LOVERETRO has shut down. Another ROM distribution website Emuparadise (one of the more popular ones) removed the Nintendo first party titles from it’s website about a year or so ago. So they are going after websites slowly but surely. But more will just pop up and I feel Nintendo needs to come up with a better solution so we won’t see so many of these websites. What do you think of Nintendo’s lawsuit? Do you feel downloading ROMs is right or wrong? Let me know in the comments below. Until next time! Blogging live to you and yours! It’s your boy TWOTALL4UFOOL! Remember that TOGETHER EVERYONE ACHIEVES MORE! Thanks for reading folks! Back to gaming now!