Nintendo is suing a Switch hacker called Gary Bowser.
As reported by Polygon, Nintendo of America filed a lawsuit against 51-year-old Canadian national Bowser, who is an alleged member of Switch hack creators Team Xecuter.
That’s right – president of Nintendo of America Doug Bowser is suing a Nintendo hacker called Gary Bowser. This is the battle of the Bowsers – in court.
In October, the US government issued multiple federal charges against Bowser and alleged fellow Team Xecuter members Max Louarn, a 48-year old French national from Avignon, and Yuanning Chen, 35, from Shenzhen, China.
Bowser is currently being held in custody on US soil after he was arrested and deported from the Dominican Republic in September. Louarn was arrested in Canada, from which the United States is seeking his extradition. Chen is still at large.
It sounds like Nintendo is making the most of Gary Bowser’s custody in the US. According to Polygon, the new lawsuit alleges Bowser infringed on Nintendo’s copyright in creating and selling its hacks. The lawsuit is trying to charge Bowser with two trafficking counts and one copyright violation.
Team Xecuter is perhaps best-known for selling Nintendo Switch modchips, but it’s been operating for years, selling mod chips for consoles as far back as the original Xbox.
There are over a dozen members of Team Xecuter around the world, including developers, website designers, suppliers who manufacture the devices and resellers. Team Xecuter used a variety of product names for its devices, such as the Gateway 3DS, the Stargate, the TrueBlue Mini, the Classic2Magic, and the SX line of devices that included the SX OS, the SX Pro, the SX Lite, and the SX Core.
You may recognise the Gateway name. Back in 2014, Eurogamer reported that Gateway had been accused of allowing users’ 3DS consoles to become irretrievably bricked by a secret “kill switch” it introduced in a recent update. Gateway had previously bemoaned the launch of copycat devices that used modified versions of its earlier code, but were repackaged and sold as separate products.
In a June 2020 interview with TorrentFreak, Team Xecuter refuted the piracy stigma while accusing Nintendo of censorship, monopolistic control, and legal scare tactics. The Department of Justice noted Team Xecuter at times “cloaked its illegal activity with a purported desire to support gaming enthusiasts who wanted to design their own video games for noncommercial use”, but it insisted the overwhelming demand and use for its devices was to play pirated video games.
Polygon reports Nintendo wants damages of $2500 for each trafficked device, $150,000 for each copyright violation, and the complete shutdown of Bowser’s operation.