Nintendo DS being killed off by game theft

I have written on here many times about game piracy and how damaging it is. And yet again, right now, another gaming platform is being destroyed by software thieves. Once the technique for stealing games becomes common knowledge for a machine most of the public are reluctant to pay for games that they can steal for free.

There are over 105 million Nintendo DS in the world and the new DSi version is selling like crazy. Yet Ubisoft are reporting that their year on year game sales for the DS are down by 67%. And that they are maintaining market share, so the whole market is down by that amount.

The genie is out of the bottle and it is game over. Ubisoft and others will desert the DS and apply their resources elsewhere. New DS titles will dry up and there will be nothing to steal.

What is happening to the DS has happened to lots of other platforms in the past. When it hit the PS1 it caused massive redundancies across the industry. Yet when the good times are rolling many game industry bosses ignore piracy and treat it as an insignificant side issue. Which is pretty stupid as it could very easily and very rapidly destroy their businesses. If people are stealing your games you can’t pay the staff who make them.

Finally, losing the DS isn’t all bad. Compared with something like the Samsung i7500 it is looking pretty primitive.

1 Comment

  1. Losing the DS would be terrible. It’s had some brilliant games that could only be done on the DS because of it’s low-tech 2D focus and low dev costs (but stupidly expensive cartridge costs).

    The PSP spanked it graphically tech-wise but I seem to remember the DS coming out on top.

    I also stand by the opinion that Ubisoft, and many other publishers, have been mistreating the DS by pushing a lot of shovelware on. Good games can still do well (remember the Layton shortages).

    While piracy is a factor on the DS, I bet you’ll find that a lot of the new games that have been thrown onto this poor machine won’t even have been downloaded for free.

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