12-13-04 - A Sherman mom thought she was buying video games about rescuing princesses, but found instead that the games have more to do with pirates. Sold at a kiosk inside a local mall, the Power Player Joystick is now coming under nationwide scrutiny for containing pirated games.
The controller offers dozens of popular games from the 1980’s, including Donkey Kong, Super Mario Brothers and Pac Man. But the companies who own the rights to those games claim they’re being mass-produced illegally.
Laura Hattaway thought she’d found a great Christmas present for her young daughter, but she later found out the games were bootlegged. But the kiosk where you bought the device refused a refund. Hattaway complained to the Midway Mall management as well.
First News checked with local video game dealers, including Special Effects, which is also inside Midway Mall. Manager Jason Kerr says they don’t sell the Power Player and in fact, it hurts their business. He also says several people have brought the controller to his store, saying it has malfunctioned and looking for help. He says that’s the danger of buying pirated merchandise.
Meanwhile, companies like Nintendo have taken the matter to court. Customs agents have seized tens of thousands of these toys as they come into the country, usually coming from China.
As for people who have already bought the game, Nintendo says they're not after Super Mario fans, just the suppliers.
First News spoke with Midway Mall management. They say they will not stop the vendor from selling the games until they hear word from their corporate office.