It’s nothing new that Nintendo isn’t the biggest fan of piracy. Given this fact, it’s unsurprising that they take piracy on their hit hybrid console very seriously. Five UK based internet service providers have been ordered to block access to websites enabling Switch piracy. The five specified (BT, EE Sky, TalkTalk, and Virgin) are all major ISPs in the UK.
This granted injunction targets four unnamed websites that were deemed to promote illegal activity. A Nintendo representative had the following to say:
Today, the UK High Court found the sale and distribution of ‘circumvention’ devices for the Nintendo Switch unlawful. Nintendo is pleased that the UK High Court has confirmed that dealing in devices or software that enable piracy on Switch systems is unlawful.Unspecified Nintendo Spokesperson, Eurogamer
Most will agree that Nintendo is in the right in this case. Widespread piracy on new titles negatively affects sales and company turnover. More importantly, developers are often paid bonuses based on sales. Piracy hurts the honest developer far more than any wealthy company executive.
However, Nintendo is not always in right. They have gained an unhealthy reputation for shutting down admirable fan projects. In 2016, the Japanese publisher ordered multiple DMCA takedown requests against Pokemon Uranium. Just a year later, the Pokémon company forced Minecraft mod Pixelmon into early retirement. Perhaps most egregious of all, a student’s Super Mario 64 remake was targeted for a copyright breach.
It can only be assumed Nintendo takes this route as its easier than the alternative. The most effective anti-piracy method is to offer a better legal option. Of course, that times time, talent and money. By eliminating any potential competitors, fans or otherwise, Nintendo can maintain a hold on the market. Disappointing? Certainly. Understandable given their position. Sadly so.