With just a week to go before release, there are reports going around stating that Nintendo's big bread and butter release of the holiday season could already be leaked online. It's a potentially dangerous time for Nintendo's bottom line if the leaks are bad, but some people have apparently managed to get their hands on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate early, and in a bad way.
Motherboard is reporting that pirated versions of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate are currently making their way around the internet. The game was supposedly dumped and spread around the piracy communities.
Videos have apparently been leaking online of the gameplay and characters. One of the members of the piracy community told Motherboard that videos of the content were making their way onto YouTube, but if you attempt to find them you'll note that most of them have been hit with copyright strikes, and Nintendo has managed to shut down a couple of YouTube channels hosting footage of leaked gameplay from the upcoming Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
What's interesting here is that Nintendo has ramped up its fight against piracy in ways that could only be described aggressively militant. This is because the Nintendo Switch was cracked earlier in the year and hackers were able to get homebrew to run on the system. Thereafter, emulators began popping up for the Nintendo Switch and they are capable of running some games at up to 30fps with most of the graphics and visuals intact.
Nintendo took the next step by having some emulation and ROM websites shutdown, such as LoveROMs and LoveRETRO. Other sites closed up in the wake of Nintendo dropping the legal hammer on ROM sites, all in an attempt to protect sales of the Switch and its games.
This is a far more aggressive tactic than how Nintendo approached the piracy community back during the Wii U's run, which is mostly because the Wii U was a sales failure and the company didn't pursue the ROM community with the sort of verve it's showing now. But, given that the Switch is rather popular, the company sees the device as a worthwhile one that will help expand its bottom line, which is why Nintendo is likely going so hard after pirates this generation.
Interestingly enough, one of the members of the pirate community told Motherboard that they didn't necessarily agree with leaking a game two weeks before its release. Others, however, didn't really care and just wanted to play the high-profile Nintendo Switch exclusive.
However, a few members found out the hard way that one of the leaked versions of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will brick your Nintendo Switch. For the people who get their hands on that version of the game and install it, only for it to brick the console, they'll still have to go out and buy the Switch all over again. Either way, Nintendo now has to not only fight against Sony and Microsoft during the holiday sales season, but the company also has to compete against pirates leaking early copies of its biggest game launch this year. I suppose one ray of light for the company is that pre-order records have already been broken by Super Smash Bros. Ultimate leading up to its release.