In October 2020, the U.S. Department of Justice arrested several heads of the piracy group Team Xecuter and charged them with 11 felonies, and Nintendo is now suing one of the heads, Gary Bowser, per Polygon. Filed in Seattle near the heart of Nintendo of America, the lawsuit charges Bowser with two counts of trafficking and one copyright violation. Nintendo seeks $2,500 for each trafficked device and $150,000 for the copyright violation.
The piracy of Team Xecuter, a for-profit business, has been particularly egregious and extends way beyond downloading old ROMs from a website. Since at least June 2013, it had been selling hardware with accompanying software to circumvent modern consoles’ security measures and play a variety of pirated video games, in addition to requiring users to purchase a license in some cases to access “the full features of its custom firmware, the SX OS, in order to enable the ability to play pirated videogames,” per the DOJ last year.
Nintendo describes Gary Bowser’s Team Xecuter as an “international pirate ring” whose products “continue to put more than 79 million Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite consoles at risk from piracy.” To put this in terms Nintendo fans will understand, it seems Gary Bowser is headed for a steaming pit of legal lava.