Nintendo files 2 lawsuits against hacked Switch resellers

The company faces Team Xecuter again.

Image via Nintendo

Nintendo of America filed two lawsuits on May 15 against Switch resellers who sell software to play pirated video games, according to court documents obtained by Polygon.

The first lawsuit was filed in an Ohio court last Friday against Tom Dilts Jr., the alleged operator of the website UberChips. The second suit was filed on the same day in a Seattle court against a number of anonymous defendants from a selection of websites. 

These defendants reportedly sell products from an anonymous hackers group called Team Xecuter. “The group designs and manufactures an unauthorized operating system called the SX OS and accompanying piracy tools that install it,” according to the lawsuit.

The UberChips website isn’t Team Xecuter’s only “authorized reseller,” according to the lawsuit. But it’s the only website that has a large banner advertisement at the top of every page of the hacker’s blog.

These products allow users to get around Nintendo’s protection against game and console piracy. With the SX OS, players can download the unauthorized Switch operating system and play unofficial games.

The UberChips website appears to be down now, but other websites listed in the second lawsuit are still operating. Team Xecuter has been able to bypass Nintendo’s attempts to stop its illegal devices.

The websites are also offering pre-orders for devices that will circumvent protection measures for the previously-unhackable Nintendo Switch Lite and newer Switch models. Nintendo said this is causing “tremendous harm” to the company. Nintendo lawyers also said hundreds of the devices have already been sold.

In an attempt to crack down on the hacks, Nintendo is focusing its legal efforts on the resellers. In 2018, Nintendo filed a similar lawsuit against a Team Xecutor hack reseller. Nintendo is seeking $2,500 per trafficking violation in each of the cases, as well as a permanent injunction to stop the operation of these websites.

In January, the company won an injunction against an alleged game pirate, Sergio Mojarro Moreno, who was ordered to stop reselling the hacks.

Nintendo also filed a lawsuit in September 2019 against a ROM website called RomUniverse. In November 2018, it reached a $12 million settlement with the two ROM sites, LoveROMS.com and LoveRETRO.co.

Nintendo is also known to send out cease-and-desist letters liberally, issuing a takedown notice for 562 fan games in 2016. But the company doesn’t only focus on protecting the intellectual property limited to physical units or unauthorized game downloads. It has previously cracked down on copyright claims on YouTube channels for receiving monetization while playing its games or music.