Today U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents executed 32 federal search warrants in 16 states as part of an investigation into the alleged sale and distribution of illegal modification chips for various video game consoles, including Nintendo’s Wii� home video game system. The mod chips designed for the Wii console circumvent the security embedded in the hardware and allow users to play counterfeit Wii software.

This Immigrations and Customs Enforcement investigation represents the largest national enforcement action of its kind targeting video game piracy. Nintendo has worked closely with this branch of the Department of Homeland Security, and fully supports its actions and other investigations currently underway.

“Nintendo and its developers and publishers lost an estimated $762 million in sales in 2006 due to piracy of its products,” said Jodi Daugherty, Nintendo of America’s senior director of anti-piracy. “Nintendo’s anti-piracy team works closely with law enforcement officials worldwide to seize mod chips and counterfeit software. Since April, Nintendo has seized more than 91,000 counterfeit Wii discs globally.”

Nintendo press release email