Nintendo is practically a household name at this point. They became synonymous with video games throughout the decades, even though their origins trace back to the 1800s. Yes, you read that right. It wasn’t until the 1970s, however, that they transitioned from their traditional playing cards to video games.
When the Nintendo Entertainment System hit global markets in 1985, they became established as one of the biggest brands of all time. Even now, the company is worth billions, and enjoys massive success from its Mario, Pokémon and the Legend of Zelda franchises amongst several others.
However, what many fans of Nintendo don’t realize is the corporate cold-bloodedness it engages in. Like Disney, a household established entertainment company, Nintendo is also known to be highly possessive of its intellectual properties. While that in itself is normal enough, and legally justified by copyright laws, we need to look at their enforcement. You see, to protect their property Nintendo will do just about anything, no matter what the consequences.
A recent account tells of a 3DS homebrewer’s brush with shady, dangerous Nintendo Ninjas
Within the past week, several sources pointing to an anonymous post on Resetera started making rounds. This gaming community allows verified accounts to share their thoughts and experiences anonymously. However, there really isn’t any way to verify the authenticity of any claims. Still, take it with a grain of salt, but keep in mind the post’s content is corroborated by countless other users across the internet over the years.
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Anyway, the post itself shared the experience of a ‘Homebrewer’ tampering with the Nintendo 3DS software. More specifically, they had supposedly breached the 3DS kernel using an exploit. Their task was the same as other homebrewers; to make a stable, non-piracy port for third-party content. While there was no intention of pirating games or compromising Nintendo’s security, they inevitably breached puritanical terms of service. Nintendo grew alarmed and wanted to prevent any potential future exploits.
The account then goes on to claim that the homebrewer routinely received bribe offers by Nintendo. The purpose of these, allegedly, was to convince them to join them and lend his hacking talents. When it became clear they were uninterested, Nintendo hired a P.I to stalk and investigate them. The constant tailing and info-gathering led several to believe that they had been threatened by a Nintendo Ninja. The message was clear: mess with our property again, and we’ll send someone even scarier.
No further information about the person in question is available. It makes for a riveting tale regardless. Unfortunately, this is completely in line with what many others breaching Nintendo’s protocols claim to experience.
The company always maintained a hardline, ridiculously austere stance against its own fans
If you identify as a Nintendo fan, that’s perfectly alright. If you blindly defend the way they treat their own players, with the sole aim of capitalizing on their devotion, please reconsider. You see, Nintendo doesn’t just prevent piracy or plagiarism with its tactics.
It clamps down on practically anyone who stands to make a profit using anything related to their branding. That means innocuous modders of legally purchased games and blatant pirates get the same treatment. That entails legal lawsuits and even these instances of poorly-veiled intimidation and threats. Even YouTube videos featuring Nintendo games or soundtracks often face sudden removals.
Compare Nintendo to its contemporaries in the world of gaming. Bethesda, the developer of the popular Elder Scrolls and Fallout series, actively promotes modding communities. As long as you identify as a legal modder, you have their endorsement to replace Alduin the World-Eater with Thomas the Tank Engine.
Meanwhile, CD Projekt Red, the developer of the acclaimed Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and the controversial Cyberpunk 2077, encourages players to profit off of live streams. Even Microsoft, a bigger corporate empire than Nintendo, enjoyed Red Vs Blue, a direct fan-made parody of its Halo franchise, so much that they made it canon.
Chill out, Nintendo!