Mutant Mudds and Dementium developer Jools Watsham is concerned about the potential of rampant software piracy on the Nintendo 3DS after a hacker claimed that he (or she?) was able to take full control of the hand-held system, according to Eurogamer.
Tiny Cartridge reports that a hacker going by the nickname "Neimod" says that he has managed to take full control over an unmodified 3DS, allowing him to load pirated software. He notes that the software holes he used to accomplish this could be patched easily and he notes that he has no plans to share his methods for loading unauthorized software with the general public.
Watsham, who runs indie developer Renegade Kid, said in a recent blog post that rampant piracy could have dire consequences on developer support for the 3DS. He compared sales of his first game, the DS titles Dementium and Dementium 2 as evidence of the effect piracy can have on sales.
"Piracy on the Nintendo DS crippled the DS retail market, especially in Europe," he wrote. "We'll never know how/if Dementium II landed in as many hands as the first game, Dementium: The Ward, due to the rampant piracy at the time. Dementium: The Ward sold more than 100,000 copies worldwide, which is a great success for an original mature-rated title on the DS. Recorded sales of Dementium II are less than half that. We'll never truly know why that was so, but many seem to believe that piracy had a lot to do with it."
He goes on to say that, if piracy becomes a widespread occurrence on the 3DS, he will have no choice but to stop supporting the platform with new games. He also does not agree with the idea that piracy leads to more games sales:
"Some say that piracy leads to more game sales, claiming that it enables players to try before they buy. Bullshit. The percentage of people who will spend money on a game that they already got for free is surely very small – especially with so many 'free' games already in the market. The line between what should/should not be free is getting very blurry."
Despite his strong concerns about piracy on the 3DS, Watsham is hopeful that Nintendo will deal with the problem:
"The good news is that Nintendo has the ability to put up a good fight against pirates due to 3DS system updates and such," he said. "Let's hope this is enough to stop piracy. Time will tell."