An eighteen year old site offering Nintendo game ROMs has decided not to do so anymore, thanks to a recent crackdown on ROM sites by Nintendo.
ROMs are digital copies of games that once existed in physical form, either on cartridges or discs. With the use of an emulator, gamers can play these ROMs on their PCs, phones or tablets, complete with original graphics and sound. Many gamers believe that the existence of emulators and ROMs help preserve classic games from disappearing.
However, there has always existed copyright issues with emulators and in particular ROMs. While some of the publishers of these games have long faded into obscurity, many are still owned by existing companies, or have been licensed by companies like Nintendo. For a long time, these companies have avoided suing ROM sites outright, instead filing removal notices for individual ROMs. This strategy appears to have shifted in recent times.
These actions have led EmuParadise, one of the oldest ROM sites around, to remove all ROMs from their site.
The decision comes after Nintendo launched lawsuits against fellow ROM sites, LoveROMs and LoveRetro, both of which have been forced to completely shut down as they face the legal might of the Japanese company.
In a statement that has since been removed, the founder of EmuParadise, MasJ, explained the reasons behind the preemptive move.
"Many of you are aware that the situation with regards to emulation sites has been changing recently. What you probably don’t know is that we at EmuParadise have been dealing with similar issues for all 18 years of our existence," wrote MasJ.
"From receiving threatening letters in the early days to our hosts suddenly shutting down our servers due to complaints, we’ve seen it all. We’ve always complied with takedown requests but as you can see, that is no guarantee of anything."
MasJ was keen to note that his site has served many over the years, and not all are "cheapskate pirates" that companies like Nintendo like to paint them as.
"We’ve had emails from soldiers at war saying that the only way they got through their days was to be lost in the retro games that they played from when they were children. We’ve got emails from brothers who have lost their siblings to cancer and were able to find solace in playing the games they once did as children. There are countless stories like these," wrote MasJ.