Last week, we talked about Soulja Boy’s controversial foray into the games console market. Released on his very own website, SouljaWatch.com, the “Crank Dat” rapper posted two consoles the SouljaGame Console and the SouljaGame Handheld. Both were blatant markups of Amazon products, with minimal rebranding. Both are emulators, devices created to allow playing of illegally obtained copies of older games. Both came loaded with a lot of games, almost certainly not approved by their creators. It’s unsurprising that many people hoped and expected this brazen disregard for the law would be met with serious repercussions. So it’s not surprising that news stories have been saying Soulja Boy is getting punished for these transgressions.
MTONews seems to be at the centre of this rumor. According to the site, Soulja Boy has been contacted by Nintendo and threatened with legal action. Many people may be expecting this news to come down the line soon, but at this point, there is little to support this rumour. Multiple news organisations have run with the story, but the evidence seems flimsy. All subsequent articles and forum posts lead back to MTONews, this story’s singular origin point. Long story short, these are the tell-tale signs of fake news or rumour, so we’ll treat it as such. This may change in the future, we shall have to wait and see.
The other problem with Nintendo’s legal threats is Soulja Boy himself. If he has been contacted by Nintendo, we should be seeing something from him. There is no apology, no announcement, anything indicating him stepping away from consoles. The craziest thing, however, is not only are the consoles still available for purchase, but more have also been added to his store.
First up, the SouljaGame Fuze, the exorbitantly expensive one. On sale, it is currently $400 US, the non-sale price is $640. Compare that to the original Fuze console (yes Soulja Boy called it the SouljaGame Fuze, so they don’t even bother altering the original branding), which can also be bought sans Soulja Boy branding for about $320 on AliExpress. Once more Soulja Boy seems to be doing not even the bare minimum in terms of rebranding, before marking up and reselling consoles. It’s also worth considering that Fuze doesn’t have a spotless reputation. In fact, it’s had to fight against the image of Fuze as a ripoff console. It has a graphical interface similar to the PS4, and controller that is clearly inspired by the Xbox One. In fact, it’s telling that there was only one memorable story I could recall regarding this company: their funding of a controversial video game crowdfunding disaster. I suppose the good news is there is no emulation claims, no pre-installed games. So technically an improvement on that scale but otherwise not so much.
Console number two is the Retro SouljaBoy Mini. This time the profit margin is a bit slimmer, get it on sale, and Soulja only makes about $20USD. But there is no moral high ground, as the system comes with 500 games. Once again emulating games illegally, once again explicitly ignoring any anti-piracy legal hot water. As with all previous systems, there is no noticeable rebranding of the actual system, with the promotional materials being virtually the same. This time the games in question are for another Nintendo system the Gameboy Advance.
It’s a pretty ridiculous story at this point. Despite the moral and legal incentives to not create such a bold-faced ripoff of major game companies, Soulja Boy seems determined to continue this console crusade. In fact it’s harder to believe the reality that Soulja Boy is putting himself more in the crosshairs than the rumours that Nintendo is putting a stop to him. More and more the possibility of a lawsuit seems like less of an “if” and more of a “when”. Time will tell what form those punishments will take and whether any of the original creators of this console will suffer similar penalties.