Bowser sentenced to 40-month prison sentence for video game crimes

Gary Bowser was a member of console hacking group Team Xecuter.

Andrew Kelly / reuters

A US federal court has sentenced Canadian hacker Gary Bowser to 40 months in prison for his involvement in Switch hacking group Team Xecuter, the Department of Justice announced on Thursday. Not to be confused with Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser (or Mario’s nemesis, for that matter), Bowser was part of a collective that developed and sold devices people could use to play pirated games on their consoles.

The FBI arrested Bowser in 2020. One year later, he agreed to pay $10 million to Nintendo to settle a civil privacy lawsuit and another $4.5 million in restitution to the company. Leading up to today’s sentencing announcement, Bowser faced up to 10 years in prison. According to the Justice Department, video game publishers have lost more than $65 million thanks to Team Xecuter’s exploits. Homeland Security Investigations and the FBI are still working to apprehend Bowser’s accomplices.

Correction 02/11 10:14AM ET: A previous version of this article mistakenly said the name of the Team Xecuter hacker was Doug Bowser. His name is Gary Bowser. We deeply regret the error.