General Gaming News

Team Executer leader is getting sued


Team Executer might not be a name you’re familiar with, unless you’ve been paying attention to the hardware modding scene for gaming consoles. For years, various entities similar to Team Executer have made and sold the mods that enable third-party apps, game piracy and more on various consoles. And now, that enterprise has crumbled in a concerning way.

Doug Bowser — a 51-year-old Canadian — was arrested and charged with 11 felony counts last year and now Nintendo is suing him. According to Polygon, the new lawsuit filed in Seattle alleges Bowser’s “international pirate ring” that sold and created hacks and mods for many consoles. Many of these were sold via various online methods by members of Team Executer, under their branding. Console systems targeted by the group include the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo 3DS, NES Classic Edition, Sony PlayStation, Microsoft Xbox and the Microsoft Xbox 360.

Various game and console makers have tried to stamp out software piracy and cheating before, to middling effect. Nintendo has regularly been among the most litigious in this regard. They have regularly made a habit of pursuing pirates and modders alike. Over the last few years, Nintendo lawsuits have forced the closure of many of the most popular sites for distributing game ROMs and ISO files.

The charges this time around are much more serious. Each of the three men named in the indictment faces 11 felony counts, including conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to circumvent technological measures and to traffic in circumvention devices, trafficking in circumvention devices, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Nintendo’s lawyers say hacking and piracy is a “serious, [and] worsening international problem” and that Bowser’s tools put more than 79 million Switch consoles “at risk” from piracy. The actual efficacy of these claims is hotly disputed by many consumers and experts. Piracy has long been argued by indie developers as preferable to not playing games at all. Various studies have been done on the topic, showing a mix of responses and data. One interesting takeaway from a Google study showed that the vast majority of pirates also consume media legally at twice the rate of “non-pirating legal users.” This kind of consumption is only growing more consistent as time goes on, as streaming and media availability improve. And let’s be honest, that’s what this case is really about, piracy.

READ MORE  Monster Hunter Rise sells more than 5 million copies

For many experts and consumers, reducing demand for piracy is key to beating it. Many more users turn to piracy for one of two reasons: either they refused to pay market rates for a product for some reason, or they can’t otherwise easily access the product. The actual approach to piracy is solving issues of affordability and access, not inflicting punishment. And that the US courts continue to take this approach should be concerning for the future of data access and media preservation.

Streaming services have increasingly pushed consumers into more controlled ecosystems to access their favorite games, movies and other media. Now, the gaming industry has taken a similar path, making it harder and harder to keep old games working, and focusing more and more on profit over quality. And I for one don’t trust these companies with the level of access and control in our daily lives that they currently have.

The products below are affiliate links, we get a commission for any purchases made. If you want to help support ISKMogul at no additional cost, we really appreciate it.

10692 posts

About author
ISKMogul is a growing video game publication that got its start covering EVE Online, and has since expanded to cover a large number of topics and niches within the purview of gaming.