Following the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group’s (CIDG’s) confiscation and removal of copies of the latest NBA game from various DataBlitz branches across Metro Manila on November 5, the gaming community became very vocal, demanding clarification of X-Play’s role in the seizure of the products and alleged harassment and arrest of DataBlitz personnel.
It was reported that P2.7 million worth of unauthorized and illegal software was confiscated, with simultaneous raids and search warrants sanctioned by the courts that were conducted in several branches that include V-Mall Greenhills; Rockwell Power Plant; SM Megamall; Greenbelt; Market! Market!; and Robinson’s Magnolia. XPlay Online Games is a joint venture between GMA New Media, Inc. and IP E-Game Ventures; GMA New Media is the parent company of GMA News Online. On the other hand, DataBlitz has also been a regular provider of games for review in GMA News Online's SciTech section. X-Play gathered media together at a press briefing on Wednesday, November 7, to address these concerns and to answer questions pertaining to the case.
Treatment of raids
Following Monday’s raids, various anecdotal reports have emerged as to how these were conducted across various DataBlitz branches.
For example, various sources have said that the Robinson’s Ermita branch was the hardest hit, with a total of eleven DataBlitz employees taken into custody by the CIDG.
Since then, however, the employees have reportedly been released and it’s been back to business as usual —although reactions from the employees themselves make it clear that shock and disbelief still prevail.
Meanwhile, a visit to the Rockwell branch made it clear that, although the CIDG confiscated their copies of NBA 2K13, the turnover was done peacefully and without incident.
It is not clear at this time how the other branches faired during the same period.
X-Play lamented the manner in which the CIDG handled its raids on DataBlitz, but said that this was beyond X-Play’s control.
X-Play management also clarified that the legal action against DataBlitz was conducted independently of X-Play’s business partners and affiliates.
As previously reported, X-Play filed an “unfair competition” complaint against DataBlitz, defined under Section 168 of Republic Act No. 8293 or the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines.
On the other hand, as reported earlier, DataBlitz also released a statement on Facebook, calling out X-Play for “disgraceful harassment” against them and not “stating in any form of writing or communications whatsoever that they are the exclusive distributor of NBA 2K13”.
—TJD, GMA News