Yutaka Kubota, President of Japan’s Association of Copyright for Computer Software, told Famitsu that he thinks flash carts like the R4DS are a form of “information terrorism.”
The R4 – a flash cart that allows pirates to download and play as many ROMs on their Nintendo DS as they want – has long been a thorn in the side of Nintendo and the companies that make games for the popular handheld. In fact, the new iteration of the device – the DSi – was designed to specifically not work with any of the current flash carts to deal with this very scenario (of course, it has since been cracked, but uh, good effort Nintendo?)
Kubota thinks that at this point, though, the precise volume of illegal DS software is irrelevant: “It’s not a matter of numbers anymore,” he told premier Japanese gaming mag Famitsu (in an interview translated by 1up). “The fact is that you can download any Nintendo DS game as much as you want, so there’s no way to even calculate the damage. This is an issue that affects our national interests, and personally, I see it as a form of information terrorism that is crushing Japan’s industry.”
Kubota also exhorted the readers of Famitsu to stop pirating games, trying to appeal to their love of the medium. “I want them to be aware that unless we do something, nobody will be able to make the games they love to play. Not only will gamers wanting to play new games not be able to play anything, but people who want to join the game industry in the future will have their dreams trampled upon.”
It’s hard to argue with that last point – rampant piracy is a scourge, and one can’t help but feel that games like Professor Layton and the Curious Village or Elite Beat Agents – both highly regarded by critics but with lukewarm sales – might have done better had it not been for the handy-dandy R4DS – piracy made easy.
But “information terrorism?” Really, now? I’m pretty sure that the makers of the R4 aren’t holding Satoru Iwada hostage and demanding the release of the Pirate Bay founders from custody. If that ever does happen, though, you guys will be the first to know.