Paper Mario: The Origami King arrives on the Nintendo Switch this Friday. Some YouTubers couldn't wait for the appointed day, however, and have started streaming the game via Switch emulators on PC.
Earlier today, ResetEra posted footage of YouTubers playing through The Origami King's opening hours days before the game's set to come out. It's unclear how said streamers grabbed The Origami King ROM, though apparently it's been in the wild for some time now.
The ever-increasing quality of Switch emulators is a thorn in Nintendo's foot, especially since the engineers for said emulators work very quickly. As Eurogamer points out, "Hacked copies of Nintendo Switch games regularly appear on PC emulators, but the leak of a game yet to officially go on sale is a relatively new headache for Nintendo."
It goes without saying that distributing game ROMs is illegal. Downloading them is also illegal by United States law, even if you own the game. (The "it's legal if you own the game" urban legend has persisted since the first ROMs hit the internet.)
However you feel about the legality of ROMs, Nintendo has made its own feelings clear several times over. It's not afraid to get litigious with ROM distributors and exercise copyright claims. The forbidden footage of The Origami King, as well as the rogue ROM, are unlikely to remain on the internet for long.
Hang in there: Paper Mario: The Origami King arrives on Friday, July 17. Read our review of the game in the meantime!