Nintendo scrambles to stop ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ leaks, piracy

Super Smash Bros Ultimate

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate doesn’t launch on Nintendo Switch until December 7, but some users are already playing it. Over the holiday weekend, pirated copies of the highly anticipated brawler began popping up online. Videos of the soundtrack, gameplay, and even unannounced modes started to appear on YouTube and Twitch. We will not link to any leaks in this article.

While virtually all games wind up being available on piracy sites shortly before or at launch, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate leaked a full two weeks before its scheduled release date. That’s an unprecedented leak for a Nintendo game, and the studio is understandably none too pleased. According to two YouTubers who uploaded tracks from the soundtrack to their channels, Nintendo issued copyright claims (via Nintendo Insider). Additional copyright claims have also been issued, as most of the video leaks have since been removed.

To make matters worse, dataminers have predictably rummaged through the game’s files to uncover a bunch of details that haven’t been announced. These details, which you can find pretty easily if you so choose, include huge spoilers about the new single-player Spirits mode, fighter unlock prerequisites, and plenty more.

According to a report by Motherboard, the Switch piracy community believes the successful attempts at pirating Smash came from a physical copy of the game obtained in Mexico. How someone managed to secure a copy of the game this early remains unclear. Other attempts at pirating Smash have resulted in Switch consoles becoming inoperable, commonly known as “bricking.”

The original leaks appear to have come from WarezNX, a Switch piracy group that uses Discord to communicate. JJB, the group’s administrator, told Motherboard that they didn’t believe the game should have been leaked so early to the public.

Nintendo has yet to release a statement about the leaks or pirated copies, but given Nintendo’s well-known stance on the issue, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Nintendo go further than just handing out copyright claims. Earlier this month, a federal judge awarded Nintendo $12 million in a lawsuit against the owner of two ROM sites that hosted classic Nintendo games.

If you’re anxiously awaiting Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, we recommend staying away from Reddit threads, YouTube, and Twitch until launch. Now that pirated copies are out there, it’s likely that more leaks will come.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate launches on December 7, and based on our preview earlier this year, it will be worth the wait.


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