Nintendo Gave Switch Pirates A Chance To Walk Away. They Apparently Refused

Nintendo Gave Switch Pirates A Chance To Walk Away. They Apparently Refused

The Switch may be at the end of its life, but Nintendo is still on the hunt for the platform’s biggest pirates. In a pair of new lawsuits, the console manufacturer has taken aim at both mod chip sellers as well as the moderator of the popular r/SwitchPiracy subreddit.

Both lawsuits were first reported on by TorrentFreak, and show that Nintendo is still fighting to keep the Switch from the same fate as the DS and 3DS handhelds before it. Both handhelds were dominated by piracy in their final stages of relevancy. The first legal action targets the owner of Modded Hardware, which allegedly sold MIG devices—better known as “flash carts”—and modded Switches, including ones with pirated games pre-installed for as much as $US670.

According to Nintendo, the company reached out to the owner of Modded Hardware in March to have the online shop shutdown. The Japanese company said the site owner agreed to this, only for the store to still be up months later. Nintendo is now suing for a preliminary injunction, statutory damages, and to have all of the devices, online accounts, and paperwork associated with Modded Hardware turned over to it.

Read More: Nintendo Goes After 8,535 Switch Emulator Backups In Mass Takedown

The second lawsuit is more unusual in that it targets the moderator for the r/SwitchPiracy subreddit, who goes by “Archbox.” In addition to being the most active member of the 190,000-person group, Nintendo also alleges that Archbox has used his position to encourage people to pirate games, in part by directing them to online pages where he sells his services for circumventing hardware protections, including in private groups on Telegram.

“Defendant is the operator, overseer, and driving force behind several Pirate Shops, through which Defendant has offered massive libraries of pirated Nintendo Switch games,” the complaint reads. “Defendant also has offered ongoing encouragement and assistance to actual and potential users of those Pirate Shops, including by promoting the Pirate Shops and their game offerings and by offering and providing assistance with Circumvention Software that is necessary to access the Pirate Shops and play games downloaded from these Pirate Shops.”

Nintendo’s lawyers even quote an old comment Archbox left on Reddit, in which he proclaims, “Most of us who hacked our switch are, like you said, pirates and aren’t going to give Nintendo $US50 for a game.” They also claim that the company contacted him with cease-and-desist notices back in March, but he continued promoting piracy anyway. He is also trying to delete his online history, including Discord servers and Github accounts.

While Nintendo has always aggressively tried to regulate piracy on its platforms, these latest crackdowns come after a renewed push following the early leaking of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom last year, which the company claimed led the hit Switch exclusive to be pirated over 1 million times. Earlier this year, Nintendo reached a civil settlement with the group behind the Yuzu emulator, which allowed people to play Switch games on PCs and other devices and effectively had it destroyed.

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