Last week, the US Department of Justice indicted three alleged members of Team-Xecuter.
The group, whose modchips and software solutions help to facilitate game piracy, has long been a thorn in the side of Nintendo.
The authorities didn’t mention any involvement from the Japanese gaming giant in its investigation. However, considering the close eye that it kept on Team-Xecuter, the company was likely consulted down the line.
Nintendo Sued Switch Hack Stores
The timing of the criminal prosecution is interesting as well. It follows legal action in which Nintendo worked to shut down ROM sites and stores that sell Team-Xecuter products. In fact, one of the stores that Nintendo has an ongoing case against, Axiogame.com, is believed to be operated by Team-Xecuter.
Axiogame.com is one of the stores Nintendo sued in May. That case, which lists nine defendants in total, was filed against “John Does” as the operators are unknown. After filing the lawsuit Nintendo did its best to identify those running it, but without success.
Axiogame = Team-Xecuter?
The US Government appears to know more. Although all claims have yet to be proven, the Team-Xecuter indictment links Axiogame.com to game piracy conspiracy.
“The enterprise also sold its circumvention devices directly to individual consumers through its own online platforms. For example, LOUARN and CHEN sold modchips through an online marketplace called axiogame.com. This website sold modchips developed by the enterprise in addition to a variety of gaming accessories,” it reads.
After the criminal prosecution was announced Axiogame.com and Maxconsole.com, a review site also believed to be operated by Team-Xecuter, remained online. However, that changed yesterday and, at the time of writing, both can’t be reached.
Court Grants Injunction Against Switch Hack Stores
Nintendo has booked a victory of its own against Axiogame and the other online stores after a Washington federal court granted its request for a default judgment and permanent injunction.
The permanent injunction requires the store operators to stop any infringing activity, destroy any infringing products, and hand over their domain names. The injunction also applies to third-party services, including hosting companies and domain registrars and registries, who can be compelled to shut the sites down as well.
The injunction covers the sites Anxchip.com, Axiogame.com, Flashcarda.com, Mod3dscard.com, Nxcard.com, SXflashcard.com, TXswitch.com, Usachipss.com, Lowbr.com, Masterpl.com, Brujoon.com, Agresu.com, as well as any successors that may appear.
Axiogame.com’s downtime doesn’t appear to be a direct result of the injunction, as the site was already offline before it was issued. It seems more likely that it’s related to the criminal prosecution.
It will be interesting to see whether Nintendo will act on the information that was made public through the indictment. Now that it knows who’s allegedly behind Axiogame.com, it can replace the “John Doe” defendant with actual names.
A copy of the default judgment and injunction obtained by Nintendo against the various stores is available here (pdf)