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“Chrono Trigger” leaked on internet before marketed. Illegal uploading is source of headache for game industry

12, 05. 2008

   The game software for Nintendo DX "Chrono Trigger", produced by the major game video game company Square Enix Holdings Co., had been uploaded on the internet before the software was put on sale. It can be downloaded now and used on the game machine. Illegal uploading of game software has been increasing in recent years, and the software for a total of 1,857,988 games for DS alone has now been leaked to the Winny network. Such a statement to the effect that "it is unnecessary to buy software" now appears on the internet, dealing a severe blow to the game producing industry.

1.85 mil game programs for DS uploaded to Winny network

   According to the public relation section of Square Enix, it was between the late in the night of Nov. 18 and Nov. 19 that the leakage on the internet of the PRG game "Chrono Trigger" was confirmed. The game software and pictures were found on the internet page called "uploader". "Chrono Trigger" was to be put on the market on Nov. 20, 2008 at the suggested retail price of 4,800 yen each. A person at the public relations section told J-CAST News that it was still under investigation to find out who did the uploading for what purpose. So far, the uploading does not seem to be for selling purpose, he said. The fame software for the DS "Dragon Quest 5" marketed by the same company in July 2008 had also been illegally disseminated on the internet.

   The number of cased in which game software is up loaded has increased sharply in recent years. Concerning the DS, copied game data are downloaded from the internet to a machine called "majikon". Problem arose when it was found out that the copied data were used by inserting into the slot of the DS. Nintendo and software makers took a legal action, seeking to stop the import and sales. According to the Association of Copyright for Computer Software, a total of 1,857,988 games software that are believed to be made for running on the DS were discovered in the network of the file-sharing software Winny as a result of checking the network for two days starting on Aug. 10, 2008. This was only Winny-related finding. The Association said:

"The number of games software leaked, including those that went overseas, could be too big to imagine."

Illegal uploading of game data is like hacker for computer industry

   Concerning the selling of pirated software of games for the DS, the squad for high-technology crimes at the Kyoto Prefectural police arrested on Nov. 13, 2008 three people of a firm in Neyagawa in Osaka for suspected illegal selling of game software on the internet. The firm was said to be the largest company of the kind in the country. It clearly stated on its internet page "DSGAMEJP" to the effect: "It is now the age of downloading DS games" and "All games priced at 0-500 yen each."

   Clearly illegal cases can be subjected to arrest. But the reality is that it is difficult to find people who upload game software on the internet. A journalist who is expert on computer game industry told J-CAST News that the intention of illegally uploading game software on the internet, including the case of the leakage involving "Chrono Trigger", can be said to be a "hacker" for the computer industry. Such an uploading is by the hand of those who want to win a victory and recognition by analyzing new game data faster than rivals and uploading it on the internet, the journalist said.

   "There are an increasing number of young people who think it OK only to buy game machines and download necessary software for free. This would cause a sales fall and decline of the game industry. A device to protect the decoding the game software is easily broken through. If this sort of vicious circle continues, it would be necessary to regulate to severely punish those who use illegal games software," he added.

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