Nintendo hacker forced to pay company 25-30% of earnings for life

A Lego statue of Bowser from the Mario franchise looms over guests in a convention hall, with Bowser on the right of the frame and guests on the left. Behind them, a large sign reads 'amiibo', and a bright red wall carries the Nintendo Switch logo in white.
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After serving a prison sentence, a former Nintendo hacker has been ordered to pay between 25-30% of his salary to the company for the rest of his working life.

Gary Bowser had previously been a key member of hacking group Team Xecuter which developed and sold chips that allowed pirated games to be played on various game consoles, including the Nintendo Switch, 3DS, and NES.

Nintendo pursued legal action against the group for damaging its business model. The firm has sought $10 million in damages from Bowser, 53, which he will now be forced to pay back through docked wages.

During the court proceedings, Bowser alleged that he had been the group’s “salesman” and earned a total of $320,000 from his Team Xecuter activities. 

He owned the website MaxConsole, which at the time was being used to secretly advertise Team Xecuter products. 

In 2021, Bowser pled guilty to two hacking charges and acknowledged his participation in cyber criminal activity. 

He was sentenced to 40 months in prison and told to pay $4.5 million by the judge, a separate fine from the settlement for Nintendo. 

His early release has come as a result of good behavior while in prison, as well as in acknowledgment of time served while awaiting trial. 


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He is currently being held in a separate facility pending his transfer to Canada.

Bowser’s lawyer has claimed that his client lost 90lbs (40kg) in the time between his arrest and court appearance.

In court transcripts, first reported by Axios, US District Judge Robert Lasnik stated that there was a “role to be played here in terms of a message” when it came to Bowser’s sentence.

“Nintendo appreciates the hard work and tireless efforts of federal prosecutors and law enforcement agencies to curb illegal activities on a global scale that cause serious harm to Nintendo and the video game industry,” the firm stated in a press release following the sentence in 2022.

Bowser told YouTuber NckMoses05 that he has already paid $175 in $25 monthly payments, through his job at the federal prison in which he was incarcerated.

He also said that the $4.5 million will not have to be paid back once he is transferred back to his home country of Canada.

Commentators on the story are largely divided on Nintendo’s decision to pursue legal action against Bowser so heavily.

Some have argued that it’s unjust and that the move will condemn Bowser to a life of “extreme poverty”.

Others highlighted the fact that Team Xecuter has acted maliciously in the past not only to the companies which its piracy adversely impacts, but its users too, arguing that the group deserved such a punishment.

The group’s SX OS, software to allow pirated games to run on Nintendo Switch, included code that could render the owner’s console unusable forever if users operated outside the terms of its license.

While Bowser was extradited to the US from his then home the Dominican Republic, Louarn has not been extradited to date, and Chen remains unaccounted for.

ITPro has approached Nintendo for comment.

Rory Bathgate
Features and Multimedia Editor

Rory Bathgate is Features and Multimedia Editor at ITPro, overseeing all in-depth content and case studies. He can also be found co-hosting the ITPro Podcast with Jane McCallion, swapping a keyboard for a microphone to discuss the latest learnings with thought leaders from across the tech sector.

In his free time, Rory enjoys photography, video editing, and good science fiction. After graduating from the University of Kent with a BA in English and American Literature, Rory undertook an MA in Eighteenth-Century Studies at King’s College London. He joined ITPro in 2022 as a graduate, following four years in student journalism. You can contact Rory at or on LinkedIn.