What was the first ROM site that you ever used to download digital copies of your legally owned physical games? Chances are it was probably Emuparadise. Emuparadise is the biggest and most refined ROM site out there. It has pretty much been the biggest game in town for the last eighteen years. This week it has been compelled to shut down its ROM section. Emuparadise is over.
Emuparadise’s previous policy for dealing with video game publishers was to immediately take down any ROM that a company sends a DMCA takedown letter for, and consequently they do not carry Nintendo ROMs. Recently however Nintendo has started filing multi-million dollar lawsuits instead of takedown letters, and the Emuparadise staff have decided that this poses an unacceptable risk going forward, since normal people do not possess the means to fight a Nintendo lawsuit. Thus Emuparadise have announced plans to shutter their ROM section, marking the end of an era.
Here is the thing, by using the legal system as a bludgeon Nintendo will not curb the supply of ROMS on the internet. After seeing how profitable repackaging ROMs could be with the NES and SNES Mini, Nintendo have suddenly become very keen on removing ROMs from the internet, however there is no turning off the tap. All Nintendo are doing is making it so that other ROM sites replace the ones that are currently popular. More to the point, these sites should remain up because companies like Nintendo have very little interest in republishing obscure titles and carrying forward customer purchases onto future hardware – like how many more times are we expected to pay $8 for Super Mario World?!
Bethesda Threatens Customers
Bethesda has decided that under no circumstances should anyone ever purchase one of their games. This week a Bethesda customer by the name of Ryan Hupp attempted to sell his unopened copy of The Evil Within 2. Hupp had bought the game in anticipation of buying a PS4, but then decided to upgrade his PC instead, rendering the game useless to him. Bethesda had other ideas however, and threatened Hupp with a lawsuit if he did not take down his listing:
“Unless you remove all Bethesda products, from your storefront, stop selling any and all Bethesda products immediately and identify all sources of Bethesda products you are selling, we intend to file a lawsuit against you.”
Bethesda then further threatened to hit Hupp up for:
“disgorgement of profits, compensatory damages, attorneys’ fees and investigative and other costs.”
At the time Bethesda made the claim that they were entitled to do this because this copy of the game was “materially different” from a genuine product because it lacked a Bethesda warranty and other such documentation. This was a load of humbug however, as in a statement Bethesda later admitted that they had no way of knowing whether this was actually true, and had threatened legal proceedings on the off chance that this sealed game had been opened, and the warranty removed:
“Bethesda does not and will not block the sale of pre-owned games. The issue in this case is that the seller offered a pre-owned game as “new” on the Amazon Marketplace.
We do not allow non-authorized resellers to represent what they sell as “new” because we can’t verify that the game hasn’t been opened and repackaged. This is how we help protect buyers from fraud and ensure our customers always receive authentic new product, with all enclosed materials and warranty intact.
In this case, if the game had been listed as “Pre-Owned,” this would not have been an issue.”
Uh… How about letting customer reviews and seller reputations do what they were created to do? That is why they are there. Selling items with misleading item descriptions will cause a seller’s reputation to lower, which will see to it that less business comes their way. Sellers will do almost anything to ensure that this does not happen. This is why the system is in place. Instead Bethesda has initiated legal proceedings against a customer based on an unfounded hunch! This is disgusting, if the game is new then Hupp should be able to sell it as new, and if that description is inaccurate then the system will sort it out. Fuck Bethesda – nobody should buy new software from them. If they want so very badly for sellers to list their new Bethesda games as used ones, then we as consumers should respect that and only purchase used Bethesda titles!
Bethesda Does Not Want to Sell Fallout 76
Bethesda really does not want to sell games! In the same week that they sued someone for trying to sell one of their games, they also announced that Fallout 76 would be eschewing all prominent online stores. Fallout 76 will not be available for purchase on Steam, GOG, or any other online storefront.
Bethesda are keen to get people using their own storefront and game launcher. One benefit of this is that Bethesda will not have to share any of the revenue with Steam, but the main reason being touted is that Bethesda wants to better be able to harangue their customers with microtransactions and paid mods. To this end the always online Fallout 76 certainly seems to be a prime candidate for being monetised out the ass!
There is a little flaw in Bethesda’s plan though. When the game was initially announced at Microsoft’s E3 conference there was great excitement among gamers, however when Bethesda subsequently announced that the game would be online only everyone just sort of lost interest. There has not been much buzz about the game ever since. If Bethesda restricted something like Fallout 5 or Elder Scrolls VI to their online store then it may have had an effect similar to the one that Half-Life 2 had for Steam. This is not going to happen with Fallout 76 though. Nobody is particularly excited about the game anyway. This will only result in Fallout 76 selling fewer copies. But then nobody should be buying this shitty game regardless.