Knock-off Zelda Switch decals have a sweary message for Nintendo lawyers

After getting in trouble with Sony, Dbrand faces a potential lawsuit from Nintendo for selling unofficial Zelda decals for the Switch.

Given Nintendo’s fondness for sicking its lawyers on anything that could be seen as a copyright infringement, you’d think people would be more wary about upsetting them.

Emulation sites have been sued into oblivion and one man involved with selling devices that hack Switch hardware not only got prison time but a fine so large that he’ll never be able to pay it off.

Peripheral company Dbrand, however, seems to be actively challenging Nintendo to sue them as they’ve launched a new set of decals that unambiguously plagiarise the design of the Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom Switch OLED.

The set comes with decals for the Nintendo Switch console and the Joy-Cons and, while not a 1:1 copy, it’s clearly meant to emulate how the official Nintendo product looks. They’ve even made decals for the Steam Deck.

However, DBrand isn’t trying to trick unsuspecting customers. It wholeheartedly acknowledges the decals are a knock-off, advertising them as ‘Clone of the Kingdom’ and using taglines like ‘The Power of Plagiarism.’

Judging by its website, the real goal is just to antagonise Nintendo and mock them for charging $360/£320 for the console. By comparison, DBrand is selling the decals (which can make an ordinary Switch look like the Tears Of The Kingdom one) for $49.95, which is roughly £40.

‘When one of the world’s most litigious companies announces a $359.99 price tag to replace your Switch with a limited edition variant, only Dbrand is up to the challenge of charging you slightly less for a ‘creative reinterpretation’ of their overpriced novelty console,’ it says.

VGC, meanwhile, has discovered that there’s a code written on the decal for the Switch dock, which translates to ‘go f*** yourself lawyers.’ A separate code round the logo reads, ‘This funds our legal defence,’ very much showing Dbrand expects Nintendo to come after them.

We’re not entirely sure what the end goal is here. Even if you agree with Dbrand’s logic regarding Nintendo’s business practices, it’s not as if Nintendo is going to be shamed or embarrassed into letting Dbrand get away with selling plagiarised products.

Worst case scenario is Nintendo sues them for everything they have, and the company is forced to shut down. Even if Dbrand manages to avoid being fined, legal defences aren’t exactly cheap.

Surprisingly, the decals are still being sold on Dbrand’s website at the time of writing, though it’s unclear if this is Nintendo opting not to bother getting involved or if it’s still in the midst of prepping its legal team.

Perhaps Dbrand is simply confident that it’ll weather the storm. After all, it got in trouble with Sony back in 2021 by selling unofficial PlayStation 5 faceplates.

A cease and desist forced them to back down, but only temporarily. Dbrand bounced back with the Darkplates 2.0, which it argued didn’t violate any sort of copyright infringement.

It still took the opportunity to throw shade at Sony and almost dare the company into trying to sue them again, but that was nearly two years ago, and the plates are still available on Dbrand’s website.

Dbrand’s unfiltered antagonism is bound to have earned it fans for daring to challenge corporations like Sony and Nintendo, but don’t be surprised if this comes back to bite them hard one day.

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