ELSPA has vowed to “throw the book” at individuals that pirate games software and sell it to consumers this Q4.
Speaking to MCV, ELSPA director general Michael Rawlinson said that the body’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit (IPCU) was “already trawling the streets and the internet” to clamp down on criminal activity.
Reports emerged last week that Activision Blizzard’s Modern Warfare 2 had been illegally downloaded over a week before release. In devastating news for retail, sources suggested the game had been ripped for modded or 'flashed' Xbox 360s.
Rawlinson told MCV: “ELSPA is pinpointing hackers who operate out of the UK and our crime unit is working closer than ever with the country’s police forces and trading standards departments to ensure we track them down and throw the book at them.
“Of course, there are several ways to crack a fraudulent nut. A console has to be modified to play pirate games in the first place – especially Xbox 360 units.
“So we are working diligently with Customs and Excise on cutting the actual supply of chips and chipping equipment to the UK.”
He added that ELSPA was concerned about the in importation of counterfeit hardware can pose even darker risks to the general public as a whole.
“Trading Standards tested some Nintendo products last year that clearly turned out to be fakes,” said Rawlinson. “Many failed basic electricity safety tests and could deliver more than disappointment if opened on Christmas Day – they had the potential to be lethal.”
Click here to read our full interview with ELSPA.