Videogame crime report, 2007

Date: 1st August, 2007

Location: All over North America

Crime: Videogame piracy

Details: Simultaneous raids of 32 homes and businesses looking for mod chips and swap discs

First booze,now videogames. It’s strange to think that Eliot Ness would be busting console modders if he was around today.

Platform holdersare not fans of the modding community. That’s no secret. This modern age of online firmware updates has seen war waged upon those who would copy and import to a hitherto unseen degree. Many a machine has been bricked and many a player has been forced into the dark shadows of offline gaming. In August though, thing took a big step up.

Working with the games industry, 22 Fed offices served 32 warrants nationwide and went a-plundering as part of a year-long investigation by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement branch of US Homeland Security. It’s the kind of thing you’d expect for drugs or terrorism, but videogame piracy? Very few people saw that coming.

Nintendo issued a press release later that day pledging full support to the investigation and setting modders firmly in its sights as Mushroom Kingdom public enemy number one, so expect this kind of thing to continue in the future.

Time to bury that R4 in the garden…