Nintendo’s Howard Lincoln: Video Game Rentals Are “Commercial Rape”

Recently saw a video claiming that Nintendo so despised the video game rental system in the United States during the 1980s, that former Nintendo of America chairman Howard Lincoln once referred to it as “commercial rape.”

This quote appears to originate with David Sheff’s 1993 book, Game Over, Press Start to Continue: How Nintendo Conquered the World. Someone has uploaded the 1999 edition of the book to the Internet Archive, and the quote appears on page 283 of that book.

Howard Lincoln said that video-game rental was “nothing less than commercial rape. I can spend thousands of hours and millions of dollars creating a game,” he says. “I expect, therefore, to be compensated every time the thing sells. All of a sudden, out of the blue, comes a system that distributes my game to thousands of people and I get no royalty. The video-rental companies exploit the thing — renting it out over and over again, hundreds and even thousands of times — and I get nothing. The guy who developed the game and Nintendo get screwed. What does the guy who’s renting the cartridge contribute? What does he pay in terms of a royalty for the commercial exploitation of copyrighted work? Zip.”

Unfortunately, the book lacks any citations, and the source for this quote is not referenced.

My Nintendo Account Is Now Safer Than My Bank Account

On September 22, 2017, Nintendo released two-factor authentication for Nintendo accounts. The system uses Google’s 2FA system (so it would also work with the LastPass authenticator, which is what I generally use).

So at this point, my Nintendo account is more secure than my bank account. My bank doesn’t offer any form of routine 2FA, despite me constantly harassing them about adding it.

And really, even 2FA isn’t good enough when it comes to banking. There’s no reason banks and credit unions shouldn’t offer their customers the option of using U2F.

Nintendo Starts Deleting Super Mario Maker Levels

For a company that has been so successful, it is always amusing to see Nintendo’s core incompetence and the way it constantly take a dump on its best customers and biggest fans. As someone who is not a Nintendo fan, the company often seems like one of those rock bands that’s touring 30 years where the only original member is one of the roadies.

So in 2015, Nintendo actually released a game that made me thinking for half a second about buying the steaming pile that is the Wii U (followed by a chuckle before I returned to pondering who would win in a fight between Deadpool and Batman). That game was Super Mario Maker, which was a fairly decent idea and (apparently) implementation for Nintendo.

Here’s the weird thing–apparently Nintendo planned all along to delete stages that weren’t popular. When the game launched, Nintendo warned that,

Please be aware that after a fixed period of time, courses with low popularity will be automatically deleted from the server.

What the hell? Why would Nintendo ever do this prior to the end-of-life of the game? This is insanity for a game that itself is just a game creation tool. But that level of stupidity wasn’t enough for Nintendo. Oh, no, not even close.

When they delete a level, apparently they set a permanent flag on the local copy of the level which makes it impossible to ever re-upload the level. So say your level gets removed by Nintendo, you go in and make some changes to make it playable, and then decided to reupload it.

Sorry, sucka. Nintendo ain’t got time for that.

But wait, there’s more. Nintendo apparently took the geniuses who came up with its “Let’s Play” policy of screwing over fans to also go after folks who were a bit too creative with their levels.

Kotaku recounts the story of a Super Mario Maker player who named a level as a homage to “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” and called the level “Honey, I Shroomed The Mario.”

. . . someone reported my level and Nintendo deleted it. My shorthand for mushroom to reference an old movie was deemed “related to criminal activity.”

Buying a Nintendo product isn’t an entree into video gaming, but rather the first step in starting an abusive relationship.