The first lawsuit was filed Friday in an Ohio court against Tom Dilts Jr., the alleged operator of the website UberChips. The second lawsuit was filed in a Seattle court that same day, against a number of anonymous defendants from a selection of websites. All defendants reportedly sell products from a group of anonymous hackers called “Team Xecuter.” Nintendo’s lawyers described the products as “an unauthorized operating system ... and accompanying piracy tools that install it.”
These products allow users to get around Nintendo’s “technological protection measures” designed to protect its products from “unauthorized access and copying.” Once it’s disabled, players can download the unauthorized operating system and play pirated video games, lawyers said.
In an attempt to crackdown 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. In January, it won an injunction against the defendant of that case, Sergio Mojarro Moreno, who was ordered to stop reselling the hacks. Likewise, Nintendo filed a lawsuit in September 2019 against a ROM website called RomUniverse, which allows members to download pirated video games for the system and others.
Polygon has reached out to Nintendo for more information.
At the time of writing, the UberChips website appears to be offline — under “scheduled maintenance.” Other websites listed in the second lawsuit are still operating. A kit used for hacking the Nintendo Switch is listed for $47.99. The site also sells products for the SNES Classic, PlayStation Mini, Nintendo 3DS, and Game Boy Advance.
The websites are also offering pre-orders for devices that will circumvent protection measures for the previously unhackable Nintendo Switch Lite and newer Nintendo Switch models. Nintendo said this is causing “tremendous harm” to the company; Nintendo lawyers said hundreds of the devices have already been sold.
Nintendo is seeking $2,500 per trafficking violation in each of these cases, as well as a permanent injunction to stop operations of these websites.
Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. For more information, see our ethics policy.