Soulja Boy's foray into video game entrepreneurship has ended just as abruptly as it began. After listing not two, but four ROM-filled consoles on his official merch store last month, the rapper has now pulled all of his video game merchandise from sale. Why? Excellent question! Presumably because those systems - the SouljaGame Console, SouljaGame Handheld, Retro SouljaBoy Mini, and SouljaGame Fuze - were illicit as all get-out. But when the consoles were pulled, Soulja Boy only had this to say on Twitter:
I had to boss up, I didn’t have a choice. 🤷🏾♂️December 29, 2018
In the first place, all of Soulja Boy's consoles were nothing more than bootleg systems being resold at a dramatic mark-up. The rapper's merch store, SouljaWatch - which is still selling Apple Watch and Beats headphones look-a-likes, by the way - used console images and item descriptions lifted from storefronts like Amazon and AliExpress, which had the same systems available for much cheaper. And we haven't even gotten to the legal gray area of ROMs. As Engadget reported, in a now-removed Tweet Soulja Boy insisted that "the games were licensed to us," but with thousands of ROMs at play here, I strongly doubt they were legally ironclad.
In other words, if someone did file a take-down notice against Soulja Boy - and it certainly sounds like that's what happened - it could have been anyone. Hell, it could have been my dog. She's probably got just as much of a claim in this. I mean, newer games from Bandai Namco, Square Enix, and Nintendo were all prominently featured in promotional art for Soulja Boy's systems. It's possible one of them went after the rapper for trademark infringement or some such offense, though that's assuming something like this would even register on their radar. Nintendo is especially protective of its IP, so I imagine Mario's Retro SouljaBoy Mini cameo (pictured above) wouldn't sit very well, to say nothing of the system's resemblance to the Game Boy. In any case, the SouljaGame lineup is no more.
Luckily, we can still play the best retro consoles around, from the Super NES Classic to the Retron 5.