ESA Visits Mexican Market, Returns with 91,000 Bootleg Games

The Entertainment Software Association, the trade group which represents U.S. video game publishers, has issued a press release detailing a raid on a notorious marketplace in Guadalajara, Mexico.

According to the release, Mexican law enforcement officials acting in concert with the ESA raided the San Juan de Dios Market where they seized:

  • 91,200 illegal copies of video games
  • 130,000 video game cover inserts
  • 3,200 empty video game boxes

In June, as GamePolitics reported, the ESA staged a similar operation in Mexico City’s Tepito marketplace.

Of the latest raid, ESA boss Michael Gallagher commented: 

Piracy in markets such as San Juan de Dios hurts businesses engaging in the legitimate distribution and retailing of computer and video games. We commend Mexican law enforcement officials for their actions in this raid and are committed to fully supporting authorities around the world who conduct these kinds of enforcement actions.

GP: At left is a video glimpse (not from the raid) of the San Juan de Dios Market.

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  1. Doomsong says:

    What they don’t tell you… is they originally went down there to buy cheap HGH and an ass-load of weed….

    "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" – Benjamin Franklin

  2. Twin-Skies says:

    Somehow, I have more sympathy for the bootleggers than I do for the authorities and legit game vendors.

    An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

  3. Spartan says:

    This is the kind of shit the copyright police should be worry about and focusing their attention on for all the media industries. Infringement for profit is real piracy.  


    "The most difficult pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much and power over little" – Herodotus

  4. Lou says:

    Althou I am not a supporter of software piracy I believe that the ESA is simply bullying the small potatoes. Markets like those are literaly harmless and all they do is try to bring some food to the table. If the ESA wants to REALLY fight piracy why they don’t sttack places like Thailand and China where piracy is pretty much a criminal organization?

  5. Aliasalpha says:

    Don’t they realise that by getting all this pirated software they’re only hurting the industry? Tsk tsk tsk for shame ESA!

  6. SpiralGray says:

    And yet companies continue to outsource jobs to these same countries that then turn around and steal the product that the outsourced jobs created…

  7. the1jeffy says:

    An interesting wrinkle to this: A good percentage of game/movie discs are pressed in Mexico.  I wonder how that factors into this?  Employees taking game discs/manuals/boxes from work and selling them?  Just a thought.

    ~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

  8. Flamespeak says:

    1s and 0s that were out of the price range of the bulk of the populace so they would not have been bought anyway.

  9. Brokenscope says:

    Except in those cases something of value was lost.

    In these cases, the only thing stolen was 10011101.

  10. sortableturnip says:

    You can basically say the same thing about things such as drugs, endangered animals, stolen artifacts, etc…

    Have to do something or you’re basically saying that it’s ok to do it.

  11. Dark Sovereign says:

    No, they do not have the right to food, water, or shelter. Rights cannot be taken away by circumstances. They may only be purposefully stepped on by organized government. Food can be taken by crop failures, water has to be shared, and shelters get destroyed. But free speech does not go away because God threw a hissy fit.

    "I want"s are not "I have a right to"s.

  12. Flamespeak says:

    "And your still wrong, everybody in the world has the right to food water and shelter."

    You only have those rights if your government acknowledges that those rights exist. Just because something is beaten into your head that everybody has the "right for this" and "right for that", doesn’t mean others have to follow this logic. I don’t blame you for saying such things, but try saying ‘you have to give me shelter and food’ in many other countries and see if they don’t laugh at you and let you starve in the elements.

  13. Brokenscope says:

    I didn’t say it was "right" to buy them. I didn’t say the raid was wrong. I applaud the raid.

    However I think the raid is pointless.
    Because more pirates will fill that void.

  14. SeanB says:

    These people are making copies of items they dont own the right to, and selling them.

    How the hell did this turn into a discussion of wether or not it should be okay to buy them.

  15. SeanB says:

    Elitist, havn’t heard that one in a while!

    I’m not going to sit here and shout insults. The fact remains that we’re talking about games that run on high end electronics and systems. The idea that "if it was cheaper they wouldnt’ steal it" doesn’t even apply here.

    And your still wrong, everybody in the world has the right to food water and shelter. Wether it’s available is another concern.

  16. Brokenscope says:

    Yet they claim lost profits due to sales of pirated copies to people who can’t afford their legal games at retail prices.(Not necessarily in this case, but they tend to do this).

    They obviously want that to be a market, then they need to actually price things realistically for that market.

    This isn’t about a "right" to play games. This is about a stupid business practices more than anything else.

  17. Flamespeak says:

    Nobody has a right to food, water, and shelter in those nations either, bud.

    The idea of ‘They are poor, so they don’t get rich entertainment’ is really rather elitest.

  18. SeanB says:

    right, because there’s no possible way they have the ability to do BOTH.

    Not to mention the USA is having wonderful success with it’s own drug problems.

  19. E. Zachary Knight says:

    SO that is why Mexico is having such a hard time getting their drug cartels out of commission. All available law inforcement is working with the ESA to stop Piracy. Sounds like they have their priorities straight.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
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    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
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  20. Austin_Lewis says:

    That’s what I was thinking; the place is six stories of illegal copies of every software you can think of. 

  21. Krit says:

    They need to do the same to Panthip Plaza in Bangkok, Thailand. Might seize more than what they got in Mexico actually, and not just games too…

  22. thefremen says:

     Yeah it’s nice to hear that while the drug cartels are basically taking over the country SOMEONE is doing something to help out. 


  23. Arell says:

    Most of the drug trade in Mexico is about getting it into the US.  Billions of dollars worth every year.  Part of the issue is appeasing the US government by stopping the influx.  Hell, the Mexican government probably wouldn’t be taking it as seriously as they are, except that the cartels are turning areas into warzones to fight over turf.  The cartels are gaining too much power in the country, so I don’t think legalization would change anything at this point.

  24. mogbert says:

    I hate real software pirates and I hate drug cartels… but man, I love Zoids. The Liger Zero was AWESOME!

  25. Father Time says:

    Perhaps they should legalize drugs there, make the cartels legitimate businesses (in Mexico at least) and then use the increase in tax money and the money that would be used against the drugs to go after the kidnapping rings.

    Hell it might bring more tourists to Mexico.


     "What for you bury me in the cold cold ground?" – Tasmanian devil

  26. Arell says:

    Off Topic:  I heard that on the radio this morning, too, on NPR.  They’ve actually had some decent success against the cartels, but new criminal groups just spring up to fill the zoid.  The authorities are having a tougher time with the kidnapping rings.

  27. E. Zachary Knight says:

    Sorry. I just heard on the radio this morning about the hard time the Mexico is having with drug cartels. It is really bad down there.

    I don’t really mind that the ESA is stopping this type of piracy. This is the kind that actually hurts the games industry.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
    MySpace Page:
    Facebook Page:

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  28. Jabrwock says:

    I’m surprised they’re not in Montreal. Afterall, Canada is the #1 bootleg capital of the world right? Wait, we’re not?

    *shakes fist in air*


    — If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap…

  29. Alyssey says:

     Yup… some rotten cops are part of these drug cartels… a lot of us have stopped trusting cops around here for quite some time now.

  30. SeanB says:

    We’re not talking about bread, milk, or clean water and housing. This is the Entertainment Industry.

    Nobody has the RIGHT to play affordable games.

  31. Flamespeak says:

    Video game piracy in nations with a horrible economic standard are nothing new. If you don’t want it to happen, make the product available to these people at severely reduced price instead of charging them the same as other nations. Which puts the product way out of the price range of gamers, hell almost all consumers, in those countries.

    If you think Mexico is bad, you should have seen the amount of boot-leg Blu-Ray movies and video games I was practically tripping over when I went to the Philippines this year. Finding a legitimate copy of something over there was a real challenge.

  32. Arell says:

    Normally I find many of these international raids to be silly, since they often target poor areas where there’d be no chance of a game being sold legitimately anyway (thus not effecting the market).  But Guadalajara isn’t some poor, rundown hole in the wall.  It’s a major city, and there’s no excuse for piracy in this instance.

    Kudos, ESA!  Keep up the good work of stamping out what is nothing less than thievery.

  33. hellfire7885 says:

    "Piracy in markets such as San Juan de Dios hurts businesses engaging in the legitimate distribution and retailing of computer and video games."

    And yet gamers who follow the law and buy legit copies of the games are the ones who are always, ALWAYS punished.

  34. SeanB says:

    The ESA has gotten a LOT of bad press over the past few years, but it’s news like this I like to see.

    If you make an illegal copy of a game and try to sell it… bye bye.

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