Back in July, we reported how Nintendo had filed suit against an Arizona company called “Mathias Designs LLC” for illegally distributing classic Nintendo roms on two sites: LoveROMS.com and LoveRETRO.co. According to Torrentfreak (via Eurogamer), both Nintendo and Mathias Designs have reached a deal – the latter agreed on paper to pay a massive $12 million USD fine and return all Nintendo games and emulators back to the company.
While the lawsuit officially states $12 million USD, the actual amount the two parties agreed to in private could vary significantly. Big companies filing suit against smaller ones that infringe upon their business often do so using huge numbers to garner media attention and to use the story as a deterrent.
In 2013, the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) sued file-hosting site Hotfile for $80 million USD – a number that Hotfile was highly unlikely capable of paying. A year later, after the infamous Sony hack, Torrentfreak discovered while browsing through some of the leaked emails that Hotfile in fact only ended up paying $4 million USD.
Given the similarities between this case and the Nintendo vs. Mathias Designs one, it seems highly likely that the two parties reached a vastly different number in private.
For now, Nintendo has already won the battle as LoveROMS and LoveRetro have already been taken down. If you try accessing LoveROMS, all you’ll see now is the following message:
Apology to Nintendo
Our website, LoveROMS.com/LoveRetro.co, previously offered and performed unauthorized copies of Nintendo games, in violation of Nintendo’s copyrights and trademarks. LoveROMS.com/LoveRetro.co acknowledges that it caused harm to Nintendo, its partners, and customers by offering infringing copies of Nintendo games and has agreed to cease all such activities. To access legitimate Nintendo games online, please visit www.nintendo.com for information about the Nintendo Game Store.
Despite the obvious illegality of Mathias Designs’ sites, the massive success it enjoyed for years is a testament to the desire of gamers to be able to play classic Nintendo games. It’s definitely Nintendo’s right to shut them down, but at the same time, it is rather upsetting that they themselves do not fill in the void by providing an easy way to access retro games. Not including Virtual Console in the Switch isn’t exactly a step in the right direction either.
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