Nintendo has decided to crack down on those who would break their codes of conduct.
The Big N announced today at HackerOne.com that something they have named the “Bug Bounty Program” is now in effect. Essentially, anyone who is found guilty of breaking certain rules relating to cheating and piracy can be turned in, so to speak. This applies only to Nintendo Switch and 3DS units.
Offenses are as varied and flexible as the monetary rewards Nintendo is offering. They will pay anywhere from $100 to $20,000 US to anyone who catches and reports on individuals commit deeds such as “low-cost cloning” or “save data modification.”
It may appear a little silly to some, but Nintendo seems to be taking it quite seriously. A legal form must be completed for each case submitted, with all details available at the linked source above.
As of this writing, three people have already been rewarded a “bounty” by Nintendo. It’s likely the most that has been discovered so far are online bugs caused by minor to moderate tampering. The bounties themselves are disclosed, however. “The reward will be paid after the reported vulnerability has been fixed by Nintendo, but no later than four (4) months after Nintendo has confirmed the reported vulnerability.”
“Nintendo will not disclose to the public the amount of any reward distributed by Nintendo.”
Judging by how recent this new practice is, its safe to say that no one has been awarded $20,000 yet. Keyword: yet. It’s entirely possible for someone to nab this pretty prize eventually. Naturally, it makes one wonder how bad of a video game-related crime one has to commit to warrant a payout larger than most video game tournaments.
Who knows what exact motivations went into this? Good PR? Sincere goodwill towards evil doers? A genuine attempt at creating real life Samus Arans? It may very well be a part of Nintendo’s overall ongoing strategy to appeal to different kinds of markets. Just as Pokemon go combined gaming with outdoor treks, perhaps this bounty program is meant to combine gaming with legality.