Nintendo Hacker Bowser Pleads Guilty and Offers $4.5 Million

Gary Bowser, a 51-year-old Canadian hacker, has pled guilty to various hacking offences, must now pay $4.5 million, and faces up to ten years in prison.

Bowser had been a long-time foe of Nintendo due to his involvement with Team Xecuter, a group that manufactured and marketed console modchips that allowed unlicensed games to be played.

According to Torrentfreak, Bowser recently altered his plea to guilty, admitting to allegations of technical measure circumvention and trafficking in circumvention devices.

Nintendo Hacker Gary Bowser Pleads Guilty

Bowser admits to working with Team Xecuter beginning in June 2013, where he “knowingly and deliberately participated in a cybercriminal operation that hacked leading game consoles” using devices such the Gateway 3DS, Stargate, TrueBlue Mini, Classic2Magic, and the SX.

In his plea deal, he admits to  “developed, manufactured, marketed, and sold a variety of circumvention devices that allowed the enterprise’s customers to play pirated versions of copyrighted video games, commonly referred to as ‘ROMs’.”

According to the paper, Team Xecuter made “at least tens of millions of dollars” from the sale of their piracy-enabling devices, with Bowser taking roughly $320k every year. The company argued that its devices allowed for homebrew development while also requesting a license fee to allow for the play of unlicensed games.

Nintendo had been on the lookout for Team Xecuter for a while, but things took a turn for the worse last October when the US government filed federal charges against Bowser and alleged Team Xecuter members Max Louarn, a 48-year-old French national from Avignon, and Yuanning Chen, 35, both from Shenzhen, China.

Bowser was apprehended in the Dominican Republic and deported to the United States. Louarn was apprehended in Canada, and the US is requesting his extradition. Chen is still at large.

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