Skip to main content

Nintendo sues two websites for distributing ROMs of its games

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Among major video game publishers, there is perhaps no company more threatened by video game emulators and ROMs — digitized versions of games for use on those emulators — than Nintendo. The company takes a hard-line stance against them on its corporate website, and Nintendo has now sued the owners of two separate ROM sites, alleging copyright infringement.

The lawsuit, the text of which was obtained by TorrentFreak, was filed in Arizona against Jacob Mathias and the company Mathias Designs over the websites LoveROMs.com and LoveRetro.co, both of which are used to distribute ROMs of Nintendo’s games, as well as other Nintendo properties such as musical recordings.

According to Nintendo’s lawsuit, the websites have damaged Nintendo, and the unauthorized use of its software “infringes and threatens irreparable injury to Nintendo’s intellectual property rights.”

Nintendo is seeking a ton of money in the lawsuit, including $150,000 for each case of copyright infringement found on the sites as well as up to $2 million for each infringement of one of its trademarks. Nintendo also seeks “compensatory damages” and an award to cover its legal fees.

The lawsuit resulted in quick action being taken by the websites. LoveRetro.co was taken down completely, while LoveROMs.com had all Nintendo titles removed from its library. Nintendo requested as part of its lawsuit that the two websites transfer their domain names into Nintendo’s control, and that they identify those who originally provided them with the unauthorized copies of its games.

We hear about Nintendo taking steps to prevent piracy against its older games far more often than we do from other publishers, primarily because the company’s back catalog of games continue to be popular.

“It doesn’t make any business sense,” said Nintendo regarding support emulators in a post on its corporate site. “It’s that simple and not open to debate.”

Nintendo certainly still plans to sell its classic games to new customers. In addition to the NES Classic and SNES Classic systems, which contain a number of acclaimed titles for Nintendo’s older systems, the Nintendo Switch Online subscription service will provide players with access to several more classics. Many will have added online support, but they’re being offered in place of a “Virtual Console” system like on the 3DS, Wii U, or Wii.

Editors' Recommendations

Gabe Gurwin
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Gabe Gurwin has been playing games since 1997, beginning with the N64 and the Super Nintendo. He began his journalism career…
One of my favorite puzzles games just turned 5, and it’s still outstanding
Baba Is You game on Android.

Baba is You, one of the most mind-bending indie puzzle games I’ve ever played turns five years old today.

Released for PC and Nintendo Switch on March 13, 2019, it’s a puzzle game where players manipulate the rules of a level in their favor to meet a win condition. That may seem simple, but Baba is You ramps up considerably in complexity as it goes on, enabling some genuinely head-scratching puzzles that will have you rethinking what’s possible within the game’s mechanics.

Read more
Nintendo Switch Game Vouchers: how they work and eligible games
Princess Peach.

Nintendo Switch Game Vouchers vanished from the eShop in 2019, but they've since made a triumphant return. Though they won't be perfect for everyone, these vouchers are ideal for folks interested in playing multiple Switch games throughout the year and looking to save a few bucks on their purchase. After buying a voucher, you'll be able to browse an ever-growing selection of digital Switch games -- including Super Mario Bros. Wonder and Tears of the Kingdom -- and snag them at a discount.

Curious about the Nintendo Switch Game Voucher program? Here's everything you need to know about the unique program.
How Nintendo Switch Vouchers work

Read more
Grounded and Pentiment are the first Xbox games to come to Nintendo Switch
Characters in Grounded game.

During Wednesday's Nintendo Direct: Partner Showcase, we learned about two of the Xbox Game Studios titles that are going multiplatform. The games in question are Obsidian Entertainment's Grounded and Pentiment, and the latter will launch tomorrow on Nintendo Switch.

Earlier this year, various leaks and rumors suggested that first-party Xbox exclusives like Hi-Fi Rush and Pentiment could make their way over to competing platforms. Microsoft finally addressed the rumors on February 15, confirming that it planned to bring four of its first-party games to non-Xbox platforms over the course of 2024. Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer wouldn't say what any of the specific games were at the time, though, stating that "the teams that are building those games have announced plans that are not too far away." It's now clear that Spencer was partially referring to this Nintendo Direct, as two of the games showed up here.

Read more