Nintendo hacker forced to pay them for life after being released from prison
Nintendo “hacker” Gary Bowser has been released from prison after 40 months, but must pay the company “25-30%” of his income for the rest of his life after operating hacking website Maxconsole.
Team Xecuter originally created modchips and hacking tools for various consoles. They are also the masterminds behind the Nintendo Switch “custom” firmware SXOS, which allows users to play pirated games.
In 2020, the release of SXOS and Switch modchips caused some ire at the House of Mario. The chips were sold by Team Xecuter and published and promoted their products on websites such as Maxconsole. There, you could find out how to use, and where to purchase modchips.
In 2020, Canadian Gary Bowser who ran the MaxConsole website was extradited to the US following his arrest in the Dominican Republic.
According to reports, Bowser “willfully participated in a cybercriminal enterprise that hacked leading gaming consoles and that developed, manufactured, marketed, and sold a variety of circumvention devices that allowed the enterprise’s customers to play pirated versions of copyrighted video games…”
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Bowser pleaded guilty to the charges in November 2021. He was later incarcerated at the Federal Detention Center in Seattle, but has now attained an early release from prison, citing “good behavior” as one of the primary reasons. Currently, he is awaiting a return to his home country of Canada, according to a recent video interview.
Bowser must pay Nintendo back for the rest of his life
With $14.5 million dollars in damages to his name, Bowser may have been released from prison, but the looming specter on Nintendo still stands tall. As Bowser explains in the above video, he will have to pay the company back on a monthly basis, sending “25-30%” of his gross monthly income to Nintendo.
So far, less than $200 of the total $14.5 million has been paid off. It’s likely that Bowser will never pay the full charges back in his lifetime.
Soon, Nintendo will enjoy the release of its latest flagship Zelda title, Tears of the Kingdom. Though, piracy on Nintendo Switch still runs rampant. It’s unclear whether or not the incarceration of Bowser and the hunting of hackers has proven to be an effective tool against software piracy.