Raided for selling ’unauthorized’ games, Datablitz calls out ’harassment’
On November 5, various branches of computer and video game software retailer Datablitz were raided by the PNP’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) for selling games that were allegedly unauthorized. Over P2.6 million worth of software products were seized, according to ABS-CBN News.
These ’unauthorized’ games were, however, not illegally copied software (or what most would consider "pirated") but rather, original copies of NBA 2K13 sold without a distribution license. GMANetwork.com reports that the search warrant was issued on grounds of "unfair competition".
The complainant, X-Play Online Games Inc. (a joint venture of GMA New Media and IP e-Games), claims to be the sole distributor of NBA 2K13. "Meetings were held with Datablitz President, Winston Lim and his team to become X-Play's primary partner for NBA 2K13," says X-Play in their official statement, but that the retailer made a "decision to acquire and distribute NBA 2K13 through unauthorized means."
However, in a statement released today, Datablitz says, "Apart from just saying that they will be distributing NBA 2K13, X-Play has never indicated in any form of writing or communications whatsoever to DataBlitz that they are the exclusive distributor of the game." Instead, they considered X-Play as just another "reseller" of the game, and "reserves its right to buy stocks of the game from other sources." They called the meetings with X-Play as "glamorized parlor game events", and called out the November 5 raids as a "disgraceful harrasment action" and "a day of infamy and shame for the gaming industry".