Nintendo seems to really have it out for Bowser, and we're not talking about the huge spiky spitting fire turtle. Instead, prolific Nintendo hacker Gary Bowser has been forced to pay Nintendo a percentage of his income for life, following a prison sentence.
Arrested for his involvement in hacking and mod chip group Team Xecutor, Bowser was sentenced to 40 months in prison. While the Nintendo hacker has been released early for good conduct, he still has to pay $14.5 million in damages to the Japanese company.
According to Bowser this means that, for the rest of his life, he owes the big N company approximately 30% of his income. While the former hacker did manage to get a job while in prison, due to the low pay accorded by the SeaTac Federal Detention Center in Washington, he only managed to pay back a paltry sum of $175.
Gary Bowser, 52, was originally a member of Team Xecuter, an illegal operation selling devices to allow playing pirated titles on platforms such as the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation Classic and Xbox. He was also been arrested in the Dominican Republic and pleaded guilty in front of the US District Court in October of 2021.
“This piracy scheme is estimated to have caused more than $65 million in losses to video game companies,” said U.S. Attorney Nick Brown. “But the damage goes beyond these businesses, harming video game developers and the small, creative studios whose products and hard work is essentially stolen when games are pirated.”
It's estimated that the hacker gained approximately $320,000 in his seven years stint at Team Xecuter. While he has been called by prosecutors "a prominent leader" of the group, Bowser mentions being the "salesman" of the company, with the leader actually being Max Louarn.
Louarn, a French citizen, has since denied ever having the role and has, so far, managed to avoid being deported to the United States to face trial. One thing is for certain, Nintendo is not playing around when someone targets their precious games.