Switch hacker Gary Bowser is out of prison, but probably owes Nintendo the rest of his life

Gary Bowser – the man who was convicted of helping to create and sell modding tools for the Nintendo Switch and 3DS with the group Team-Xecuter – is now out of prison. He is allowed to end his prison sentence early due to good behavior.

Among other things, the modification tools of Team-Xecuter could be used to play copies of games – ROM files – on these two consoles, as well as other game consoles from other manufacturers.

It was in early 2022 that 53-year-old Bowser received the sentence of 40 months in prison. He declared himself guilty of several of the conditions, and was sentenced to pay several compensation claims totaling 14.5 million dollars – about 150 million kroner. 100 million of these go to Nintendo, since the company filed a civil lawsuit against Bowser.

In an interview with YouTuber Nick Moses, Bowser says that he was released from prison on the eve of March, and that he is waiting in Washington to be able to return to his native Canada. But even if the prison sentence is now over, it remains to pay off the substantial compensation claim – he will hardly be able to do that in his lifetime.

READ ALSO: Nintendo demands NOK 131 million from the man behind the ROM website

Difficult to pay off

So far, Bowser claims that he has paid in about NOK 1,500 on the claim after working in the prison.

– Under the agreement with Nintendo, they can seize a maximum of between 25 and 30 percent of my income. And I have to start paying the claim within six months, says Bowser in the interview.

As the website TorrentFreak points out, Bowser must earn at least NOK 400 million to pay off the debt to Nintendo under these conditions. And at the age of 53, the likelihood is high that he will spend the rest of his life getting the claim paid.

According to himself, Bowser acted as a salesman for Team-Xecuter, and is said to have earned just over NOK 3 million from the work. The penalty and the compensation claim are obviously significantly greater than this, and reflect the claims of Nintendo’s lawyers that the hacker group had cost the company over NOK 650 million – partly because Nintendo had to use resources to update the piracy blocks on the consoles.

READ ALSO: Spent three years stealing and revealing Nintendo secrets