“As far as [pirated] Switch games go this is the biggest ever,” a WarezNX administrator called JJB said to Motherboard in an online chat. WarezNX is a Switch piracy community that can be found on the popular chat service Discord.
Four other sources told the publication about the leak, while JJB allegedly showed gameplay footage of a specific character and stage. Another source provided a second video. Meanwhile, ripped cutscenes and gameplay reportedly appeared on Twitch and YouTube over the Thanksgiving weekend. Nintendo filed copyright claims against most of them, but at the time of writing Variety managed to find at least one video containing every cutscene from the game’s World of Light single-player campaign. We’re not posting it here because of spoilers, obviously.
Although software piracy is a common problem in the video game industry, JJB told Motherboard a leak this early for such a high profile game is unusual, and they told other WarezNX admins to ban lower level users from the server.
“Point of doing it was I did not agree with ‘Smash’ leaking as early as it did,” JJB said. “So I decided to remove the easiest source being the server.”
“Two weeks early for a game like ‘Smash’ is insane for a public leak,” they said.
There are already a number of mirror links available to download the game, Motherboard said, so it’s unlikely Nintendo can completely contain the leak before launch. “Smash” fans might want to be extra careful about what they click on.
“Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” launches exclusively on Nintendo Switch with 76 characters and 103 stages. It’s now the top pre-selling title on the console, as well as the top pre-selling title in the franchise’s history.
Variety contacted Nintendo to find out more about the leak and what it’s doing to contain it, but it did not immediately respond.