Switch hacker ordered to pay $10 million and 25–30% of his income to Nintendo

by Danny Craig  · 
Switch hacker ordered to pay $10 million and 25–30% of his income to Nintendo

Despite serving jail time, a Nintendo Switch hacker has said that he will not only have to pay $10 million in fines but will also be required to give 25–30% of his income to the company for the rest of his life.

The details:

  • Gary Bowser, a member of the hacking group Team Xecuter, stated in a recent interview that while he will be released from jail early due to good behavior, he will be required to pay Nintendo $10 million as well as 25-30% of his income for the rest of his days, a significant increase from the $320,000 he reportedly earned while working with the group. Bowser has only paid $175 of the total fine of $14.5 million, with small payments of $25 deducted from his job at the prison library. Bowser's pay in any future employment will be significantly reduced once he is released, as Nintendo will be able to take up to 30% of it until everything is paid off.
  • Bowser and Team Xecuter members Max Louarn and Yuanning Chen were indicted in 2020 for selling chips that allowed Switch owners to play pirated games on the console. He was the only one of the three to be convicted and was charged with 11 felonies, including wire fraud, to which he pleaded guilty to two charges, resulting in a $4.5 million fine, followed by an additional $10 million fine, and up to 40 months in jail. Bowser's activities, according to Nintendo, caused "damages greater than $65 million," with Team Xecuter making "at least tens of millions of dollars in proceeds" during its operations.
  • This is yet another example of Nintendo taking copyright infringement seriously, as the company has previously targeted channels that make videos on modded content within its games, such as a fan-made multiplayer mod for Zelda: Breath of the Wild, removing 28 videos related to its properties from a PointCrow's channel earlier this month. It appears that the company is strengthening its IP protection as it prepares to release Tears of the Kingdom in May, which could result in many more similar incidents in the days and weeks following its release.

More Nintendo legal news:

  • The Japanese gaming giant has won a court battle against file-hosting service operator Dstorage after it appealed to overturn a 2021 ruling holding it responsible for hosting pirated games on one of its sites. The provider was originally ordered to pay €935,500 in compensation, but it now has to pay an additional €442,750 in compensation, along with €25,000 in legal fees.
  • Nintendo has applied for a subpoena to force Discord to provide the company with the personal information of the person responsible for leaking the Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom art book a few months ago. In February 2023, the leaker shared images from the art book on Reddit and Discord before the posts and server were removed in response to DMCA takedown requests.
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