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Bowser pleads guilty, ordered to pay $4.5M to Nintendo

No, not that Bowser, or the other Bowser, for that matter

Fury Bowser blasts fire towards Mario and Bowser Jr. Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

Nintendo Switch hack creator Gary Bowser has plead guilty in a criminal case filed by federal prosecutors last year. Bowser was arrested in 2020 with French national Max Louarn for leading the group of Nintendo Switch hackers known as Team Xecuter.

Last week, he pled guilty in a Seattle court, according to documents obtained by Torrent Freak. Bowser, who is Canadian and of no relation to Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser (or the Mushroom Kingdom villain), admitted to participating in the scheme to create and distribute tools designed to hack Nintendo Switch consoles. His customers would then use the tools to get Nintendo Switch games for free.

The plea agreement described Bowser’s role in marketing these devices and distributing them to retailers, for which he said he was paid up to $1,000 a month for. The plea agreement also says Team Xecuter “generated at least tens of millions of dollars” in selling the hacking devices, including a custom operating system that got players around Nintendo’s security features.

With the two guilty pleas, Bowser has agreed to pay $4.5 million to Nintendo in restitution and continue to cooperate with ongoing investigations of Team Xecuter. If he completes these terms, the remaining nine charges will then be dropped.

This case is separate from the civil lawsuit Nintendo filed against Bowser earlier this year, alleging copyright infringement related to the Nintendo Switch hacking devices. Nintendo, at that time, described Team Xecuter as “an international pirate ring.” That case is still active. Nintendo is looking for damages of $2,500 for each trafficked device, as well as $150,000 for each copyright violation.

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