Piracy in Mexico: Why it won’t stop

A note on Slashdot says “[Nintendo] has requested help in dealing with piracy overseas, both from the US government and from several other countries in particular. China, Korea, Brazil, Mexico, Spain, and Paraguay are listed as the greatest contributing nations to piracy of the company’s products.”

Why are Wii so Expensive?
Why are Wii so Expensive?

Nintendo needs to realize that there’s no way piracy will stop in Mexico unless they lower their prices. A Wii is almost twice as much in Mexico as it is in the USA, costing the equivalent of over 350 dollars here. Games aren’t much cheaper. And Wii Points cards are also twice as expensive here.

It’s also pretty hypocritical of Nintendo. Wiis are plentiful in Mexico, even at times when news of shortages elsewhere were common. The reason is that, since the Wii is so heavily marked up, Nintendo does profit more by selling here in Mexico than in the USA (similar to how they diverted shipments to Europe because higher prices there gave them more profits). However, while there are those mexicans (like me, sadly) who would indeed pay twice the price for the console, which is very convenient for Nintendo, the vast majority of the population can’t afford those prices. So they resort to piracy in order to get their games; buying stolen for their consoles; and (worst of all) buying an XBox instead, because the XBox is 60% the price of a Wii here in Mexico.

This will continue, however hard Nintendo tries to push mexican authorities, because they don’t care; Mexico is a land of impunity, where drug dealers get away with murdering and torturing, often in broad daylight. Obviously the authorities have their hands full and no time for a game company crying wolf because their products are getting pirated.  And anyway, it’s too easy for the “pirates” to bribe the police officers who come to seize their goods and try to arrest them; they, too, are starving and would welcome a few thousand pesos in bribes (or, why not, a shiny new stolen Wii for their kids).

Arrr!
Arrr!

So if Nintendo wants to reduce pirating of their products in Mexico (they can’t stop it altogether), they need to make sure their prices are more in line with what they charge internationally (The USA, specifically). That way more people can afford them legitimately, and there will be less incentive for piracy. However, culturally, legally and politically, the complete erradication of piracy in Mexico is an impossibility. Just ask Microsoft.

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