Nintendo stung by $1 billion piracy attack

Mega-rich company would be even more wealthy

Nintendo has announced that it is $975m (£497m) worse off due to the rife piracy which drains money from its DS and Wii console enterprises. The Japanese company singled out Korea, China, Brazil, Hong Kong, Mexico and Paraguay as the places where piracy of Nintendo games is most common.

"The unprecedented momentum enjoyed by Nintendo DS and Wii makes Nintendo an attractive target for counterfeiters," said Jodi Daugherty, Nintendo of America's senior director of anti-piracy.

"We estimate that in 2007, Nintendo, together with its publishers and developers, suffered nearly $975 million USD worldwide in lost sales as a result of piracy. Nintendo will continue to work with governments around the world to aggressively curtail this illegal activity."

Nintendo piracy rife

It’s unclear exactly how Nintendo has calculated the figure of $975m. It’s most likely included lost sales in its computations, which is always seen as a bit of a grey area. It begs the question: if people weren’t pirating all those games, would they instead be buying them? It seems unlikely somehow. So it would be interesting to see exactly how Nintendo came to this figure.

It’s also a bit difficult to feel sorry for Nintendo. It is, after all, raking in the cash from bumper sales of the DS and Wii consoles. iSuppli reckons that by the end of 2008 there will be over 30 million Nintendo Wii consoles out in people’s homes. That’s $12 billion worth of hardware right there – Nintendo is not a company short of cash at the moment.

Still, that doesn’t mean that piracy-enablers, such as those people in China who manufacture the R4 chip for the Nintendo DS, should be allowed to get away with it.


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