Nintendo has filed a lawsuit against RomUniverse, a website that offers unlimited downloads of pirated versions of its games for $ 30 a year. The Japanese giant is claiming $ 150,000 in damages for each violation of its copyright and up to $ 2 million for the violation of its protected mark.
RomUniverse offers ROMs, the game files normally contained in cartridges or discs sold in stores, titles from all generations of Nintendo consoles.
Switch games have been downloaded more than 300,000 times on his site. This figure rises to 500,000 for 3DS games, according to court documents released this week.
RomUniverse is built on a shameless and large-scale infringement of Nintendo’s intellectual property , the plaintiffs add.
This is not the first time Nintendo has attacked a ROM site. Last year, the Japanese company was successful against Jacob and Christian Mathias, the American couple behind LoveRETRO and LoveROMS. They were ordered to pay more than $ 12 million in damages for breaking the copyright law.
In general, retro games ROMs distributed free on the web are tolerated by video game manufacturers because they are no longer available in stores. They can notably be played on console emulators on computer or mobile.
Nintendo is much more protective of copyright than other publishers for some time. Its retro games are offered in particular for the NES Classic and SNES Classic thumbnails, respectively launched in 2016 and 2017, and for the Switch by means of a monthly subscription.
RomUniverse, however, is not limited only to retro games, as do many other ROM sites, something that makes this pursuit less surprising than it might seem, especially since the site makes profits thanks to its subscription formula .