2. Datablitz responds to the raid
Hello again. Yesterday, representatives of XPLAY held an intimate round table dinner to some of the media to further explain the recent raid of Datablitz. I was not there at the dinner as it was scheduled rather last minute. I did ask their PR rep to send over a statement of what was discussed during that dinner.
Today, Datablitz also issued an additional statement clarifying some details regarding the claim of selling “unauthorized copies” of NBA 2k13 games.
I will post both responses.
To be honest, what is disturbing to me is how the police force of the CIDG determined that these goods were “pirated” as it is common knowledge to note that this truly isn’t the case especially when it comes to obtaining sealed boxes of serial keys.
As a frequent Datablitz customer I know for a fact that they have never carried “pirated” software. So often have I been browsing their shelves when oblivious parents would come in and ask whether they have pirated versions of their games OR jail broken / modified versions of the XBOX 360 or the Nintendo Wii. With the value-added features that original games can offer today (such as online play) it would be absurd for Datablitz to even want to carry pirated goods.
Sosa said that prior to the raid, CIDG agents conducted test buys in all of Datablitz stalls, and confirmed the sale of pirated software in those stores.
The PR impact here is obvious: the gaming community is tightly knit and Datablitz has always served as the go-to store for original games, consoles and accessories. Like it or not, the move made by XPLAY may have put them in bad light with the gaming community. In fact, a grassroots movement has started backing Datablitz.
P.S. I have friends who work in / have affiliations to both Datablitz and X-PLAY. I will not take sides on the matter but rather maintain my status quo with buying games from my usual sources which happen to include Steam and Datablitz. I have never been to a X-PLAY store, yet.
STATEMENT OF DATABLITZ (VIA FACEBOOK PAGE)
To our friends & family in gaming,
We wish to further dispel the false news reports that have circulated the past few days. The seized NBA 2K13 stocks are not pirated nor smuggled goods. DataBlitz has never sold any pirated games, not then, not now and not ever. The games are genuine, original stocks that came from legitimate suppliers, and had gone through the proper importation channels with taxes & duties properly paid.
The basis and reason for the seizure of the goods was that these were allegedly “unauthorized” stocks, without XPlay stickers, and taken away under the supervision of the lawyers of XPlay, who supervised the whole process up to and including the most unjust detention of our staff who were merely doing their work of manning our stores and trying to make an honest living.
We look forward to contesting the “unauthorized” stocks issue and the truthfulness and validity of the exclusivity claim in the proper fora in due time.
Meanwhile, from the bottom of our hearts, a million billion gazillion thanks for the outpouring of support we’ve received from our beloved gaming community and from gamers in general everywhere. You are our inspiration and your support is the source of our strength in everything that we do since our inception. There is no DataBlitz today without you and for this, we shall forever be grateful. In this dark hour, you have stood by us and have come to our defense, and the least we can do is to continue to work hard and fight each and everyday for the welfare of gamers everywhere! MARAMING MARAMING SALAMAT PO!!!
STATEMENT OF X-PLAY (VIA PR CONTACT)
X-Play, the exclusive distributor of NBA2K13 (games) in the country has challenged DataBlitz to explain why it was buying and selling unauthorized video game products rather than divert the issue by throwing baseless and unfounded accusations.
In a statement, X-Play said DataBlitz should support its statement that it practices good business by clarifying to the public why unauthorized video game products were found in its possession during raids by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).
“Shouldn’t established retailers claiming to practice good business not sell unauthorized products?” X-Play said in a statement.
The CIDG earlier raided several DataBlitz stores and confiscated P2.6 million worth of unauthorized and illegal software products whose exclusive distribution rights were owned by X-Play.
“The action of DataBlitz was not only detrimental to X-Play but also affected other smaller retailers, game stores and entrepreneurs. We hope nothing more but to resolve this predicament but will hold firm in protecting the industry from unauthorized and illegal operators,” X-Play said in a statement.
X-Play earlier filed an “unfair competition” complaint against DataBlitz, defined under Section 168 of Republic Act No. 8293 or the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines.
According to the complaint, DataBlitz engaged in unfair competition by selling NBA2K13 Products without authority from EpicSoft and/or XPlay, the exclusive distributor thereof in the Philippines.
Finding merit in the complaint, the court issued eleven search warrants against several DataBlitz branches in SM Megamall, Market! Market!, Robinson’s Galleria, Rockwell Power Plant, Greenbelt, Expo Exchange, Virra Mall Greenhills and Robinson’s Magnolia.