Officials at the Federal Detention Center in Seattle have released Gary Bowser, the Canadian hacker behind the website Maxconsole. He served a total of 40 months in prison for participating in a “cybercriminal enterprise that hacked leading gaming consoles.”
While Bowser is contemplating heading back to Canada after his early release, there is a catch to his release. He told Nick Moses in a recent gaming podcast that he is required to pay Nintendo:
25-30% of his income for the rest of his life as part of his sentence.
After US officials extradited Bowser from the Dominican Republic in 2020, Bowser pleaded guilty to taking part in the criminal hacking enterprise while also selling circumvention devices that enabled users to play pirated video games.
Bowser’s website promoted Team Xecuter’s Nintendo Switch custom firmware SXOS and modchips, which resulted in significant financial losses for Nintendo, amounting to $14.5m in damages. Despite Bowser’s release, the damage done to Nintendo’s revenue is still a concern, particularly as piracy on the Switch continues to be an ongoing issue.
Hacking is a growing issue, particularly in the global gaming industry. After a recent hacking incident, 14 Gateway Casinos in Ontario remain closed as technicians work to restore the chain’s IT systems.