Nintendo has just won a two million dollar lawsuit against a company selling mod chips for the Switch. On top of that, members of the hacking group Team Xecuter have been arrested and it looks like Nintendo plans on prosecuting them to their fullest extent.
News like this always brings up mixed feelings and Modern Vintage Gamer summed it all up pretty objectively in his video above. I’m not sure I can be as objective…
While I always have and always will be a fan of homebrew and jailbreaking, if the information out there is true, Team Xecuter seems to have gone too far. Not only were they selling mod chips, but they were also charging extra for a software update that ads more hacking features. This isn’t a gesture of a group looking to unlock a console for preservation and homebrew, this is a blunt statement that they plan on profiting from stolen games being loaded on your Switch. In many ways, this is closer to selling bootleg games out the back of a truck then it is providing a way to jailbreak your console. It also appears one of the team members also has a history of brazenly ripping people off and was sentenced to five years in prison in 1994 for a calling card scheme.
Team Xecuter’s “intent” is most likely irrelevant in this case, however my own personal intent is always extremely important to me. Am I jailbreaking my* Switch so I can backup my own savegames, backup the digital downloads I’ve purchased and run homebrew? Heck, am I using it to “try before I buy”, so I can avoid wasting money on a game I hate? Even though that’s 100% theft, it also leads to more sales; If I spend $40 on a game I hate, I’m probably not going to buy another game for awhile. If I try a handful of games and buy the ones I like, I might end up spending more and as a result, my jailbreak would be benefitting more developers.
It’s my current opinion (which, as humans, is always subject to change) that if the accused parties were creating a well-intended, open-source jailbreak, I’d be defending their standpoint. While it does certainly seem like their intent was to profit from theft, I am concerned about what this will mean for other project out there. Will Nintendo treat this case separately, or will they now come after everyone who works on Nintendo-releated projects?
*As a note, I actually don’t own, or have ever used a jailbroken Switch. Those are just my thoughts on the matter.
Follow up things about the Team Xecuter story
Max Louarn is no stranger to being in trouble with the law. He was sentenced to 5 years in 1994 for involvement in a calling card scheme. He was also 'MAXiMiLiEN' in well known scene group Paradox
Source : https://t.co/HLXMWakB4z
— MVG (@ModernVintageG) October 3, 2020