Nintendo is back in the news again, with games to blame.
The video game console and game company has been pulling tool-assisted speedrun-Mario ROMs from YouTube, citing that it’s illegal for users to download Mario ROMs from the Internet in its game regulations. ROMs, for those that may not know, refer to digitally backed-up files of the original Mario games that can be downloaded and passed on to other devices. While some ROMs show gamer interaction, the speed-run ROMs do not record gamer interaction but instead, programmed actions. Looking for “Item Abuse 3” on YouTube will get you nowhere except with a message: “This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Nintendo.”
The reasoning may make little sense for hardcore gamers, but Nintendo’s new Super Mario Maker has a large role to play in the company’s insistence to shut down old Mario ROM videos that have already netted the company millions and billions of dollars over the last 20 years. ROMs have originally been used to help gamers keep track of their progress in a game, should the game die suddenly, crash, and so on, so files that have been a safety net for buyers of the company’s consoles and game discs are now being used by others on the Web to get access to the games themselves without having to even buy them to begin with.
As for its Super Mario Maker, Nintendo has a hit on its hands. The new game has sold twice as many as its Wii U console has in its first week, with 150,000 Super Mario Maker discs sold in Japan. Of these, 120,000 units have included the Nintendo Wii U Super Mario Maker. As the name of the game suggests, the goal is to create your own levels that are then made public for others to play. In other words, you can create your own Super Mario world that others can share in. The genius behind the game is that Nintendo can allow users to create their own levels without restriction, which then continues to popularize the game apart from Nintendo’s own efforts. Not only does Super Mario Maker allow game customization on a whole new level, but the customization and word-of-mouth from current gamers and adopters will serve to bring in more interested gamers who will then purchase the game itself.
In this regard, then, Nintendo doesn’t want gamers to be able to craft games with ROMs since its newest game is out that lets you do that and more. The reason? Why allow older games to be downloaded when Nintendo can just charge you to pay for the rights to “remake” those old games with Super Mario Maker? Yes, there are many who see this is making something out of nothing, but for game companies like Nintendo, who are doing everything they can to keep their profits up, it’s a matter of life and death. True, there is an internet gaming culture that thinks Nintendo is being too uptight about it, but games are part of a business; they’re not separate from the company, at least when it comes to profit and policies. Gamers have to remove their love of the game from companies and understand things from a more business-oriented perspective.
Nintendo just celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of the Super Mario Bros’ games on the market. Satoru Iwata, the former Nintendo President who made the company relevant again in the early 21st century with the Nintendo Wii, passed away this past July at just 55 years old.