Much hype has surrounded The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, primarily as it is seen as the headline launch title for Nintendo's upcoming hybrid console, the Nintendo Switch.
The game, meanwhile, has seemingly not let gamers down, with the open-world RPG gaining praise in early reviews, including a perfect score from the rarely generous Edge Magazine.
However, trouble is already brewing for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild before it is even released, as the game has already been pirated.
'The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild' Already Pirated... How?
As various spoilers for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild have been leaked recently in the form of images, videos, and screenshots, a report by Kotaku revealed that it will only get worse as the Wii U version of the game has already been pirated in advance of its March 3 release date alongside the Nintendo Switch.
Late this month, players discovered that they were able to download files related directly to the game from the servers of Nintendo. It was only for a brief time as Nintendo was able to take down the files, but the damage had already been done and the files were already leaked all over the internet.
Apparently, some players were also able to download encrypted files related to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which can become playable on the Nintendo Wii U through a digital skeleton key that was sourced from a legitimate copy of the game.
What is now happening is that images of almost all items and enemies in the game, including its final boss, have started circulating, said to be made possible as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is now being pirated for the Wii U.
Pirating the Wii U version of the game was said to be made possible when missing files to do so were recently leaked, allowing soft-modded versions of the console to run the pirated copies of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Piracy Plagues Nintendo Again
This is not the first time that such a thing has happened to Nintendo, as last year, copies of Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon were also leaked and pirated before the official launch of the Nintendo 3DS games. Nintendo tried to limit the damage by banning players who used pirated copies of the two titles, but the company's vulnerability to piracy had been exposed.
Nintendo's fear of piracy is one of the reasons why the company and legendary Super Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto decided to require an always-on internet connection for smartphone game Super Mario Run. By requiring the game to be online at all times, the company hoped that constant checks on the software's integrity will prevent attempts to pirate Super Mario Run.
It remains to be seen whether the Nintendo Switch version of the game will have the same vulnerabilities as the Wii U version. However, for players who are looking to remain spoiler-free for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, it would be best to stay away from certain online forums until the game is officially released.