Nintendo Blames Piracy For Huge European Sales Drop

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Nintendo Blames Piracy For Huge European Sales Drop

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Nintendo's sales in Europe are down by nearly half in recent months and the company is pointing the finger squarely at piracy as the cause.

Nintendo has been an active opponent of piracy over the years. The company has convinced eBay and Amazon to stop carrying the R4 chips that allow the use of homebrew and pirated software on the Nintendo DS and recently settled a million-dollar lawsuit against an Australian man who put a copy of Super Mario Bros. Wii online for download. But despite these victories and others, the company appears to be losing ground; in a recent Asahi Shimbun report, it claimed that "magic computer" devices like the R4 are responsible for a slide of nearly 50 percent in Nintendo's sales in Europe.

Europe appears to be Nintendo's biggest piracy problem, as over the same period, sales dipped by 11 percent in the U.S. and only seven percent in Japan. In January, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata said the company would attempt to "enhance the ability to combat piracy in Europe through both legal and technological means," with a focus on making consoles that will not play pirated software.

But technology can only go so far and as one Japanese student living in the U.S. made clear, Nintendo is also fighting a widespread indifference toward piracy. "If I were to buy the software through the regular channels, it would cost so much," she said. "Everybody is using [circumvention devices], and I don't feel like I am doing something particularly wrong."

In June 2009, Nintendo monitored ten websites offering illegal game downloads and determined that its software had been pirated 238 million times, which it claimed translated into roughly $10.7 billion in lost sales.

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Bloody pirates!

Seriously, they ruin things for everybody.

Potential lost sales Nintendo. You can count it all you want, but potential does not mean the pirates came into your money vault and stole 10.7 billion.

JaredXE:
Potential lost sales Nintendo. You can count it all you want, but potential does not mean the pirates came into your money vault and stole 10.7 billion.

Have to agree with you there. The game industry, or atleast most of the news reports here are throwing around some pretty fantastical numbers. If these numbers were actually applied to the businesses in question, they'd be out of business. Not sitting here complaining about it.

Poor game development, rushed production schedules, and patronizing your customers is what has caused all this piracy. Reversing those exact points is the ONLY way you can even HOPE to eliminate it. Not some fancy computer chip, or wishful thinking.

And they don't even make games for the PC. Yeah, that's right, they're starting to blame console piracy for the shitty sales of their shitty games... I wonder what's next.

Bullshit, now when there's going to be sales drop, instead of thinking their products are worthless, they'll start blaming pirates... typical...

Mr.Tea:
And they don't even make games for the PC. Yeah, that's right, they're starting to blame console piracy for the shitty sales of their shitty games... I wonder what's next.

Probably that they will blame their developers when they play pirates with their children.

Or when they dress up as pirates during Halloween.

I'm inclined to think that the people who've been pirating these games have been pirating for a long time. I don't imagine that more and more old 'honest' customers have become pirates, I think it more likely that perhaps people are becoming tired of Nintendo essentially releasing the same games.
I can't remember more than 3 Nintendo games released in the last year that I seriously considered buying. Maybe that's the problem.

Yes piracy, it couldn't have anything to do with the fact that lots of those in Europe and especially Australia really get the short end of the stick with the prices. Importing from the states is often cheaper for most of them. Maybe if they did something about the huge markup in prices, sales wouldn't be so bad.

As much as I hate people pirating games, this seems like a rather silly accusation. Why would people have waited for this moment to start pirating games? I think more games were actually being pirated at times of big releases.

Mr.Tea:
And they don't even make games for the PC. Yeah, that's right, they're starting to blame console piracy for the shitty sales of their shitty games... I wonder what's next.

Well, who didn't see that coming? Watch us carefully, console gamers. You get a sneak peek of the shit you're in for later.

Wait, what? Did the R4 suddenly just become available in Europe? I don't think so. Maybe the European game releases over the past year sucked?

Maybe Europe doesn't want to buy Nintendo products because they get ripped off all the time because of high princes and taxes and have to import or pirate games or maybe everyone in Europe already has a DS or wii.

This is why what they did with Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver was pure genius. By packaging it with the pokewalker they provided something trivial to the game that whilst not a necessity to the game is something pirates feel like they're missing out on. One of my friends who in fact had pirated the game on his R4 was so jealous of my pokewalker he went out and bought a legitimate copy of the game.

Who called this?
I did. I totally called this.
As long as piracy is around, it's a great excuse for companies and developers if sales go south.
Piracy, not even mentioning that its a dick thing to do, only creates more problems, it doesn't solve any.
It opens the doors to Ubisoft-style DRM, and it gives developers and publishers BS excuses! On top of hurting an industry that over the last few years has seen the doors of many great developers close.

Bad pirates. Very bad pirates.

just o put that numbers into context, that 10 billion in sales they claim to have "lost" would be 50% of the total revenue Nintendo has made in 2009.
or to put it another way, that is as much as the GDP of a smaller 3. world country (Congo).

even if "piracy" would magically stop i seriously doubt that Nintendo would increase their sales by more then a few percent.

Antari:

JaredXE:
Potential lost sales Nintendo. You can count it all you want, but potential does not mean the pirates came into your money vault and stole 10.7 billion.

Have to agree with you there. The game industry, or atleast most of the news reports here are throwing around some pretty fantastical numbers. If these numbers were actually applied to the businesses in question, they'd be out of business. Not sitting here complaining about it.

Poor game development, rushed production schedules, and patronizing your customers is what has caused all this piracy. Reversing those exact points is the ONLY way you can even HOPE to eliminate it. Not some fancy computer chip, or wishful thinking.

Nah, no one will be able to eliminate piracy. But we can reduce it. And doing what you said is one way. Another is for Publishers to take a backseat to the Developers. All we seem to hear about is EA, Activision, Ubisoft, ect. And thats who most people think they're pirating from. But put the developers upfront, let them interact with their communities, actually respond to their criticisms and help with their problems instead of some person from EA pointing us to PR person #49.

Do that, and gamers will start to see the people behind the games. The people who rely on it to feed their families, to be able to live well. No it won't stop piracy, but it will help curb it. All anyone says is that they pirate from the big corporations. But how many people say that they pirate from Tim Schafer, John Carmack, Warren Spector, Will Wright, Shigeru Miyamoto, Sid Meier, or any other developer?

armaina:
Yes piracy, it couldn't have anything to do with the fact that lots of those in Europe and especially Australia really get the short end of the stick with the prices. Importing from the states is often cheaper for most of them. Maybe if they did something about the huge markup in prices, sales wouldn't be so bad.

$120 for a new release PS3/Xbox360 game, just sayin'.
It's pretty absurd pricing we get, now with gaming going more and more mainstream it's impossible for some people to buy multiple games. I've skipped out on God of War 3, Assassin's Creed 2 and a lot of other games in the past year simply because of money.

A ds game costs 40 euro, thats 53.73 Dollars.
They might as well charge a little more, its close to double the price anyway.
Then losing half of your sales means that you till get the same amount of money as you would in america, and japan....
The iphone is really big in Europe too, so people already get their shuffle ware for a euro instead of the price of a full and new pc game. (yeah most of them are as expensive as a ds game)

How do they come up with these numbers? Do they have secret ninjas disguised as pirates (Note: This would be the coolest thing ever and I hope it is true) that send how many pirates there are? Do they role the dice and see what the number is and add a million (or billion) to the end of it? Instead of blaming pirates they need to look in a mirror and see that people are no longer interested in the same games from twenty-five years ago.

Pirating wouldn't be as easy on the NDS if they could upgrade the firmware to not recognize stuff like R4 chips, but I guess that's why they keep releasing new versions of the same handheld.

Good. The Wii needs to fail.

lol... its a conspiracy.. the wii just sucks and everyone sees it for what it is! =P

There is no guarantee that people who pirate would have bought the game in the first place. Try blaming an over-reliance on gimmicky rubbish (WiiMusic and WiiFit, anyone?) than "pirates".

Vaccine:

armaina:
Yes piracy, it couldn't have anything to do with the fact that lots of those in Europe and especially Australia really get the short end of the stick with the prices. Importing from the states is often cheaper for most of them. Maybe if they did something about the huge markup in prices, sales wouldn't be so bad.

$120 for a new release PS3/Xbox360 game, just sayin'.
It's pretty absurd pricing we get, now with gaming going more and more mainstream it's impossible for some people to buy multiple games. I've skipped out on God of War 3, Assassin's Creed 2 and a lot of other games in the past year simply because of money.

I totally agree. I dont care cause i live in the US but you may be on to something.. tsk tsk game companies!

Irridium:

Antari:

JaredXE:
Potentialsnip.

snip.

Nah, no one will be able to eliminate piracy. But we can reduce it. And doing what you said is one way. Another is for Publishers to take a backseat to the Developers. All we seem to hear about is EA, Activision, Ubisoft, ect. And thats who most people think they're pirating from. But put the developers upfront, let them interact with their communities, actually respond to their criticisms and help with their problems instead of some person from EA pointing us to PR person #49.

Do that, and gamers will start to see the people behind the games. The people who rely on it to feed their families, to be able to live well. No it won't stop piracy, but it will help curb it. All anyone says is that they pirate from the big corporations. But how many people say that they pirate from Tim Schafer, John Carmack, Warren Spector, Will Wright, Shigeru Miyamoto, Sid Meier, or any other developer?

Very good point. If they didn't rush games through production and testing so quickly, one we could eliminate patching systems all together. And two, people would be alot happier about parting with their money, when they get what was actually advertised. Not a lame attempt at what was advertised. Because there was no where near enough time to actually finish the project properly.

Y-eah, so its totally not the pieces of shit you call "games" then, eh Nintendo?

armaina:
Yes piracy, it couldn't have anything to do with the fact that lots of those in Europe and especially Australia really get the short end of the stick with the prices. Importing from the states is often cheaper for most of them. Maybe if they did something about the huge markup in prices, sales wouldn't be so bad.

Not to menton many titles having ridiculously late European releases, (Metroid Prime Pinball anyone?).

Vaccine:

armaina:
Yes piracy, it couldn't have anything to do with the fact that lots of those in Europe and especially Australia really get the short end of the stick with the prices. Importing from the states is often cheaper for most of them. Maybe if they did something about the huge markup in prices, sales wouldn't be so bad.

$120 for a new release PS3/Xbox360 game, just sayin'.
It's pretty absurd pricing we get, now with gaming going more and more mainstream it's impossible for some people to buy multiple games. I've skipped out on God of War 3, Assassin's Creed 2 and a lot of other games in the past year simply because of money.

If sales in Europe/Australia were down across the board it probably would be prices, and in fact it's more likely than piracy at any rate. Maybe I'm foolish but I still doubt piracy is capable of denting sales in such a massive way especially when companies are still profiting.

Let's just call nintendo Spain. A fat, gluttonous country that has been exploiting the new world ever since it 'discovered' it years before. Suddenly, pirates start attacking their ships in the new world. Oh noes!

Well, actually there are alot of comparisons you can make between nintendo and spain. Both of their policies have been known as barbaric and inhumane. Empires built on the blood of the locals. Not the smartest bunch but controlling the largest population.

Meh, when it comes down to it, nintendo has been trying to keep their systems alive with first party titles solely for the last 14 years. If you look at their top selling games you see New super mario brothers wii, mario kart wii, and wii fitness. Perhaps europe just has a different attitude about the fifth incarnation of the mario kart series, a side scrolling platformer 20 years after the fact and an interactive jerk around game. Maybe nintendo should realize their 4 year old system plays like a 7 year old system. It was particularly brilliant at the time to release a system that wasn't top of the line so they could sell it for half the price of the competetors, but now it is STILL a subpar system that is being held up by the quality of the first party titles, and the other systems have gone down in price and have a stronger library (both of them).

Sure, some pirates MIGHT be getting nintendo games, but what is the point? Pretty much all of them are remakes, and the rest are poor quality games with wonkey controls. If I had a game released on all platforms I would definately pirate the PC version long before I even touched the wii version, because it's just that much better.

And the myth continues........ perhaps its do to something more .. tangible like horrible release dates,horrible prices and random titles not being released in the region........

If you fail to make a sale you have no one to blame but yourself.....

I think Nintendo's weak line-up over the last year and the success of the iPhone/iPod Touch in the region is more responsabile for the decline in sales than piracy. That said, Nintendo's consoles have been blown open in terms of running unauthorised programs and pirated games (about equal to a jailbroken iPhone, in my opinion), for which Nintendo must blame itself.

Well, they wil;l be sure to come out with ways to stop it.

If anything, they could try enforce stronger encryption. but, thatwill always be broken eventually. Just one of those things it seems

Nice to see how they immediately blame piracy and not the fact that their games might just not appeal as greatly to a European audience as elsewhere.

The latest Nintendo products I own are a Gameboy colour and Pokemon red. And I only know one person who even owns a Wii.

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