Nintendo DS: Getting Killed Off by Game Theft

by: Bruce Everiss

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 (OTCPK:NTDOY) DS consoles in the world and the new DSi version is selling like crazy. Yet Ubisoft is 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 (OTCPK:UBSFY) 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 Sony's (NYSE:SNE) 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.