Gary Bowser sentenced to prison for piracy of Nintendo video games
Nintendo seeks justice from the other, other Bowser.
Nintendo seeks justice from the other, other Bowser. | Screengrab provided by YouTube via GameSpot

Gary Bowser sentenced to prison for piracy of Nintendo video games

Nintendo seeks justice from the other, other Bowser

Gary Bowser, a prominent leader in the video game piracy enterprise Team Xecuter, has been sentenced to 40 months in prison by the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington on Thursday, according to a statement from the Department of Justice.

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Bowser was previously arrested in the Dominican Republic and deported to the United States in September of 2020. According to the DOJ, Bowser pleaded guilty to two federal felonies in October of 2021: Conspiracy to circumvent technological measures and to traffic in circumvention devices, and trafficking in circumvention devices.

Bowser was in charge of administering the websites that marketed Team Xecuter’s products and communicated with potential buyers. In accordance with his plea deal, Bowser will pay Nintendo of America $4.5 million in restitution.

Team Xecuter reportedly made and sold hacking software and devices that allowed consoles to run pirated copies of video games. The products worked on multiple Nintendo consoles, such as the Switch, 3DS and Nintendo Entertainment System Classic Edition, along with other hardware like Sony’s PlayStation Classic and Microsoft’s Xbox.

More about Bowser’s prison sentence

Nintendo released a statement in a press release thanking numerous government organizations for their role in sentencing Bowser, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security.

“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,” Nintendo’s statement said.

According to U.S. attorney Nick Brown, Team Xecuter’s products cost video game companies more than $65 million in lost revenue. He also asserted that, in addition to costing businesses money, Team Xecuter diminished the creative labors of video game developers.

“This is not a victimless crime,” Special Agent in Charge Robert Hammer said. “The leaders of this multimillion-dollar scheme are responsible for diverting money from creative professionals who have worked hard to provide unique products and experiences.”

The DOJ’s statement names two other individuals who were charged in the indictment. Max Louarn, a French national, and Yuanning Chen, a Chinese national, are not presently in the custody of the United States government.

Author
Image of Dylan Tate
Dylan Tate
Dylan Tate is an alumnus of the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a gaming journalist with a love for Nintendo esports, particularly Super Smash Bros. and Pokémon.