Nintendo Blames DS Piracy For 50% Sales Drop In Europe

Nintendo has been cracking down hard on sellers of R4 cartridges (and similar devices) lately. Want to know why? The Japanese company is blaming them for a 50 per cent drop in sales of DS games in Europe.

According to a report on the Asahi Shimbum's website, Nintendo reckons sales of the devices - which allow users to circumvent the anti-piracy measures built into the DS - "was largely to blame for a nearly 50-percent drop in sales in Europe in recent months", and that the amount "lost" to pirates each year was "in the region of trillions of yen".

The company arrived at this conclusion having conducted a study last year, in which 10 "websites based overseas that allowed people to illicitly download game software" were tracked. Nintendo claim that it found "that software had been pirated a total 238 million times".

Apparently the biggest culprits behind the European drop were Italians, Spaniards and Frenchmen, which makes Nintendo's claims of a sales drop slightly odd, since of those only France is one of Europe's "big three" markets (along with the United Kingdom and Germany).

Still, iffy logic or not - a copy pirated does not directly equate to a copy not bought - you wanted a reason why Nintendo takes DS piracy seriously, here's your reason.

Console game makers fight 'magicom' piracy craze [Asahi Shimbum]


    If they want to stop pirarcy maybe they should make their games cheaper, I've some games which are up to $80, and these are kids games.

      I read on an economics magazine a couple of years ago that if all pirate products were not pirated ever again any more then:

      -Things would be 1/7th of the price they are now. So yeah, you want cheaper things? Stop pirating.

        yeah that going let me show you a little story

        pirate: i pirate games cuz the price of then is to high

        Nintendo/game corp: i put the price of games up cuz im loseing profits to pirates

        pirate: i will continue to pirate cuz the price keep going up

        Nintendo/game corp: i will continue to put the prices up cuz i am still lose profits to pirates

        and you could probley put DRM into something like that as well

        @ Icb

        I'm sorry but i have to disagree as this sounds like complete and utter nonsense. At what point would a company say "hey we are making enough money and since nobody is copying the game lets drop the price!".

        Rubbish, utter rubbish. If piracy was completely wiped out games are not going to be any cheaper. If piracy never existed on the other hand they might be cheaper but we'll never know now will we. Unless anyone as a spare Delorean we could use.

        A 1/7th drop in is a little more realistic then most of the claims about piracy and it's affect on the market, particularly the ones made Nintendo. Although it would depend on how they came to that figure and what data they were using.

    I would suggest some of that drop has come from the excessively high prices that retailers put games on the shelves at. but what do i know...

    I love how companies immediately assume that x number of downloaded copies equates to x number of lost sales.

    That is complete bullshit.

    It's probably also due to the fact Italy, Spain and France are non-English speaking countries and have to wait longer to get localized versions of games and they could be just pirating the game before it gets released there and buying it later

    Well i only buy consoles once thay have been hacked. I thought the DS and the Wii was only for kids so never paid them much attention.
    Once they were hacked i bought both of them. I do pirate games, but have also bought minimum 10 games for each.

    So if the systems were not hacked and piracy was not possible they would have lost my sales.

    I still don't have a PS3 for that reason.

    I have 2 x Xbox 360's, PSP Slim, DSLite, Wii, 3 x original Xbox, Gamecube, 2 x PS2, 3 x PS1. I bought all these consoles after they were hacked and have over 200 original games total for all the systems.

    Just because people pirate games doesn't mean they still won't buy games. They just won't pay for shit games. Which is what most of the DS and Wii games are.

      Out of curiosity, if you are willing to pay for decent games does that mean that the games you pirate are the shit ones? If so, why even bother pirating them?

      It sounds like you've spent a fair amount of money on hardware and games, so would you really be that worse off only playing what you are legally entitled to play?

        I download every game released for the consoles i own. I than give them a go, if they are no good I don't play them again.

        If they are good games i will than buy the original to play online.

        I want to own every game released, but of course cant buy them all. So pirating is the only option.

        My first pirating experience happened when i was 5 years old and watched a pirated version of E.T on video before it was even released in America. That was the start of my love of pirating. Been copying videos, dvds and games ever since.

        I have thousands of movies and 10000+ games and yes i have played all of them, maybe for only 5 minutes, but i do give them a go.

    It's not the fact that most DS games are shovelware aimed at mildly retarded children? No? Damned pirates!

    People keep coming into store asking where (and if we sell) those R4 cards.
    I have lost count how many times ive had to say "you do realise copying games onto them is illegal.. dont you?"
    Most of the time its parents who get nagged by thair kids coz thair friends have them.

    50% sales drop in Europe? Blame pirates? Of course, it has nothing to with the fact that Pal consumers get treated like they’re worthless by Nintendo right? How about not fucking around your customers first then see if they buy your stuff? Without resorting to importing wich can be a pain in the arse and costly, R4’s and the like are the only way to play a lot of Nintendo games.


    Your handheld library consists of 98% shovelware, much like its big brother.

    Release some quality games then we can talk about piracy stealing your sales and profits.


    Yeah, I bought two DS lites when they first came out, one for my son and one for me. And at the time there were some good games being released for them, and we purchased quite a few. But as of right now, I have completely lost interest in the device for several reasons...

    1. Because the games are either stupid low intelligence games (see "imagine" series), movie tie-ins or they are just ports of PC flash games and the graphics/gameplay is awful.

    2. A lot of the games that are released don't make good use of the features of the DS. (ie touch screen, microphone etc) and you end up still playing using the d-pad and other buttons.

    3. They are expensive. I don't mind paying up to $80 for a quality game on my PC because the graphics are stunning and the gameplay lasts a long time. I do mind paying that same price for a crossword puzzle game on the DS.

    So I no longer buy games for myself and only buy the occasional game for my 12 yr old when something good comes out (pokemon mostly) because he too has lost interest in most of their games. But I guess Nintendo would rather assume I download illegally (I don't) than step up and admit they make crap games.

    Well Nintendo are the absolute WORST company for timely worldwide releases. Maybe if they stopped treating Europe like crap, Europeans wouldn't treat them like crap?

    No other companies whines and moans about "localisation delays", they just localise at the SAME TIME as development! Holy crap stop the presses!

    I actually got my R4 card from my aunt who found it in a DS that someone lost in the Melbourne CBD someplace.
    The only thing i use it for?
    Japanese games that will never see import or, when it worked, beup.
    I played several japanese games that would likely never see release here, like the toLoveru game.
    I also used it to try games before I bought them, in one or two cases.
    The only sales nintendo lost with me was from games that they wouldn't sell here and I couldn't be bothered to import.
    And if european countries are the problem, why are they attacking Australia so hard?
    The New Super Mario Bros Wii guy deserved it, though.

    If I couldn't pirate DS games I would never have purchased a DS in the first place. I purchase all my other games on my ps3, xbox 360, and PC but I won't fork out $50 for a portable game. If DS games were around $20(about all they are worth except for a select few games that are worth a little more) at release I would purchase any DS game I wanted.

      Seems us Lukes think alike. Totally in the same boat here - I buy all my console games and pirate DS/PSP because they're just not worth the price tag. That and I also would've bought neither if I couldn't pirate them. So if anything Nintendo/Sony are $200-$300 better off because I atleast bought their hardware.

      I was also pirating on the Wii because there were never any games worth the price tag, save 1 or so per year which I would actually pay for (Nyx Quest anyone?), but I sold it in favor of a PS3 which has many more quality exclusives per year that I'll happily pay for.

      As others have said, when Nintendo brings the quality, I'll bring the cashola. Until then, not paying for it.

    so basically everyone doesn't want to pay to play!?! whatever the excuse. you lot think you have a right to do it as well, like nintendo owe you something. i would like a porsche but they are just too damn expensive, they should look the other way when i steal it from the showroom. what a joke

      It's been said a million times, regardless of which side you're on, you can't compare piracy with the act of actually illegally removing an object from another persons possession.

      You would like a porsche eh? I'm sure you would happily take one that is an exact copy created just for you for free that in no way actually removes a created one from the possession of those making and distributing them. Yes somebody worked hard designing i, "But they're too damned expensive." Which translates to: "I wouldn't have bought one ANYWAY had the avenue to copy it."

        *had the avenue to copy it never existed.

        1stly I would steal a car. But if my friend said he I got a cool new car want me to burn you a copy....

        2ndly i pirate games. why because i use the ds as a portable gaming platform. that right i pick it up and use it on the train or when im out and about.
        The biggest thing about the R4 for me is i can load up multiple games this is what really annoyed me before i got it I'd need to bring multiple cartages around either in a cumbersome bag or lose where they easily get damages. R4 bang all the games i want are on there no need for anything but the ds.

        They put storage on the ds, and an online store where i can easily and cheaply buy the games is' use it is a heartbeat.

      The deal is people do copy cars/Porsches, they are called replicas. They are not really the same, but look, sound and sometimes drive the same.

      I feel the only issue is people profiting from pirated games. You ask any of the readers here i doubt you will find anybody who thinks it is cool to profit from selling pirated games.

      And again it does come down to price. If they were selling games for $10 each i would easily buy 10 games a week. But i refuse to pay $100 for a game that will be $50 or less in a month or two after release.

    The games are cheap, but people are cheaper.
    Literally nearly every kid I know has an R4 card because they or their parents feel they are entitled to a truckload of games. The games are cheap compared to going to the movies or going bowling or anything at all really. I'm sick of people justifying piracy (well theft) because of high prices. The games are cheap for the amount of hours entertainment you get and they are cheap compared to what they cost to develop.
    If you can't afford it, then go without, or save up and buy it.
    I'm a programmer, and like most people, I like to get paid for my work.

    Cause Nintendo HAVEN'T sold enough DS' or made enough money of it or anything like that... noooooo!

    IN regards to the whole "Piracy makes games higher!" etc...

    I don't know ANY company's "motto" for its employee's that state "down-sell the customers to save money".

    It's all about cross-selling and up-selling. 'I noticed you don't use that much on your phone bill but you're on a really high cap. Perhaps you could downgrade to a cheaper cap?'
    'Oh sure, how nice of you!'
    'Oh its nothing - but did you know by doing so and you add-on your broadband to us, you will save 15% off your total bill with us' blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah...

    Nintendo mix a bit of both - "Oh you bought the DS Lite hey? Well keep that and buy the DSi aswell. Keep the Lite for advance games and use the DSi for future DS games and to use the AWESOME 0.3 megapixel camera! THATS RIGHT 0.3 MEGAPIXELS!

    Then they release a DSi XL that you can trade your DSi in for.

    " recent months"

    In other words: "...since Christmas".

    Fuck off Nintendo, don't go blaming piracy for your post-christmas void of anything worth buying. The DS probably just had its biggest Christmas ever, of course sales would plummet afterwards!

    (as if piracy could surge that hard, that quickly, this far into the lifecycle, that it could HALVE sales anyway...)

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