Nintendo, You Need to Calm Down – Here’s Why The Company’s Lawsuits Are an Offense to Gamers

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For over a year, Nintendo keeps firing shotguns at ROM providers, suing the websites all over the world unapologetically. This September, the company is after RomUniverse, seeking over 2 million for copyright infringement.

On the one hand, the actions of a global tech giant are legal and fully justified. On the other, the console is losing its core following as the die-hard fans want to keep in touch with the company’s legendary titles that are no longer supported using emulators.

It’s not about the fact that gamers are not willing to pay companies for their projects, not about the desire to pirate for the sake of the challenge. In this post, we’ll explain why Nintendo attacks on emulation websites don’t sit well with the company’s customers.

A Look At Nintendo’s ROM War

In case you’re not an avid Nintendo fan or new to the world of emulators, here’s a short summary of the copyright infringement war the multi-billion company has been waging for some time now:

  • In summer 2018, Nintendo shuts down Love-retroROM and forces LOVE Roms to remove all Nintendo files from the catalog;
  • The ROM provider EMUParadise announced that it’s getting rid of every Nintendo title;
  • Later, Nintendo sues Good Old Downloads;
  • In 2019, Nintendo files a lawsuit against the Commodore Club, making the website take down the PC version of Super Mario Bros
  • This September, the company sued RomUniverse for ‘mass copyright infringement’.

It may seem the emulator providers are in the wrong here for pirating and publishing titles online. However, once you take a deeper look into it, you’ll realize that, for most emulator website owners, keeping retro titles alive is not a commercial but a passion project.

There’s a mission statement behind ROMs – here’s how they contribute to the gaming universe.

Helping Retro Titles Stand The Test of Time

Nintendo stayed faithful to Super Mario Bros and will bring the  title to the company’s every console in the future. Such classic games are not in danger of being forgotten about anytime soon. Yet, there are other titles – with a smaller following, that carry a ton of artistic and tech value. What about Magnavox Odyssey, Sega Genesis, and many more obscure titles? How to ensure they don’t go missing?

There are two ways to preserve rare media – collecting the rare physical copies or emulating the title to remotely save the experience. The first one has major disadvantages – when a single collector has the only copy of many retro titles, the risk of putting all of them in jeopardy due to an accident or a house fire increases.

Emulators may be piracy – a direct violation of the video game law – yet, in the long run, they contribute to the preservation of the titles that are near and dear to our hearts by planting a higher number of easy-to-distribute game copies.

Spreading the Passion Worldwide

Suing ROM websites to the left and right, Nintendo America might have a hard time remembering that people in some countries are less privileged than in others, and some never had a chance to legally get a retro title.

Thanks to emulators, people from African countries, Asia, and Eastern Europe got to appreciate the retro video gamesthey never had access to by the time of release. While some websites charge users for downloading ROMs, it’s a cheaper way to feed your inner geek than having to pay as much for every single title.

In its wave of lawsuits and allegations, Nintendo did not offer alternatives that could help gamers from different countries preserve and enjoy retro titles without piracy and copyright law violations.


Does Nintendo have a legal reason for every single one of these lawsuits? Sure. The fact, however, remains – gamers are backed into a corner, and the company keeps driving them further into the wall. If Nintendo would’ve offered a digital marketplace with old best-sellers, sure, we’ll all agree that emulation is illegal – no questions asked. Until that’s the case, we are not sorry, Nintendo. We are just keeping our favorite video games alive at