Rapper Soulja Boy has insulted YouTubers and stated ‘I’m not scared of Nintendo’ in a now-deleted tweet responding to critique of his entry into the gaming industry. He has, so far, released four consoles – all rebranded Chinese emulators – which are loaded with unlicensed ROMs from a variety of companies.
Earlier this month, Soulja Boy unexpectedly entered the technology market, releasing two games consoles amongst his initial products: The SouljaGame Console, and the SouljaGame Handheld. Priced at $211.98 and $159.98 USD each, the consoles are offered exclusively through Soulja Boy’s merchandise website, Soulja Watch, and come pre-loaded with roms. The roms cover a variety of systems – the SNES, the Playstation 1, and the Gameboy Advance to name a few – and feature hundreds of titles.
Suspicious, YouTubers and gamers began to research the consoles, and discovered they are simply re-brands of pre-existing Chinese emulator consoles (although a rebrand in name only – none of the consoles mentioned refer to SouljaBoy in any way on the console itself, or in the system data). As these consoles do not feature licensed roms, they are in violation of most international copyright laws (including China’s own). Which makes their legality dubious to say the least. Further more, these emulator consoles could be found at significantly cheaper prices elsewhere than what Soulja Boy’s rebrand was selling for.
When asked about the backlash during an interview with Rolling Stone, Soulja Boy said that “You have to deal with criticism, but I think that once people actually get this product in their hands and get to review it themselves, personally, I think it’ll be a different outcome.” He also stated that there’s no concern for legal ramifications over the consoles, as everything is ‘100% legit’: ” Honestly, I don’t have any worries at all, any concerns, because everything we’re doing is legit. It’s been researched. Everything has been basically confirmed that it’s a green light and we’re good. It’s partly the people from the outside looking in, that aren’t understanding the type of deals that were made behind the scenes that are worried.”
Deals which, apparently, included yet two more consoles to be released just days after the last ones: The newcomers being the Retro SouljaBoy Mini, and the SouljaBoy Fuze. YouTube, of course, was not happy.
In response to the various discussions going on, Soulja Boy posted the following (now deleted) Twitter storm:
Souljaboy might be feeling a little nervous right now. @Nintendo @NintendoAmerica may have put enough fear into him to at least delete these tweets. We know that SouljaGame console is using ROMS that just cost a couple running a web site 12 million dollars. This is bigger. pic.twitter.com/gTE4hps0NY
— Tu Holmes (@TuHolmes) December 22, 2018
But according to MTO News, the one-hit wonder rapper has already been contacted by Nintendo’s legal team regarding the consoles. Whilst no lawsuits have been filed yet, the swift response from Nintendo would be in keeping with the gaming company’s recent crackdown on illegitimate roms – only last month did they manage to take down two rom sites, costing the owners a combined $12,200,000 via settlement.
Time will tell if things will escalate.