Bowser was recently arrested and charged in a federal indictment for hacking consoles that include the Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo 3DS.
No, not THAT Bowser.
It was a 51 year old Canadian man from the Dominican Republic named Gary Bowser, along with a 48 year old French national named Max Louarn, and 35 year old Yuanning Chen of China, all of whom were members of the video game piracy group Team Xecuter.
The three are currently in custody facing charges in a US court.
In the indictment, it is alleged that the defendants were leading an illegal business that developed and sold illegal devices that would hack video game consoles. This would give the consoles the ability to play pirate games.
The fact that one of the alleged criminals was named Bowser was a little too coincidental to escape some levity. Former head of Nintendo of America, Reggie Fils-Aime, who was replaced by a man named Doug Bowser (no relation to the alleged criminal or the giant fire breathing turtle lizard), made light of the situation on Twitter.
— Reggie Fils-Aime (@Reggie) October 3, 2020
FBI Special Agent Raymond Duda spoke about the case more seriously, stating, “Imagine if something you invented was stolen from you and then marketed and sold to customers around the world. That is exactly what Team Xecutor was doing. This is a perfect example of why the FBI has made the prevention of the theft of intellectual property a priority. These arrests should send a message to would-be pirates that the FBI does not consider these crimes to be a game.”
Team Xecuter made a name for itself by selling Nintendo Switch modchips, but it’s not new to the piracy world. The criminal group has been selling mod chips for consoles dating all the way back to the original Microsoft Xbox.
The arrest of these four individuals does not necessarily put Team Xecuter out of business. There are more than a dozen members of the team spread throughout the world, which includes web designers, developers, and suppliers who work on the manufacturing the illegal devices.
Some of the names applied to Team Xecuter products over the years include the Gateway 3DS, Stargate, TrueBlue Mini, Classic2Magic, and the SX line of products, including the SX OS, SX Pro, SX Lite, and SX Core.
As recently as June 2020, Team Xecuter balked at the idea that they were engaged in piracy while also accusing Nintendo of holding a monopoly and censoring them.
According to the Department of Justice, the team often, “cloaked its illegal activity with a purported desire to support gaming enthusiasts who wanted to design their own video games for noncommercial use.”
The defendants are being charged with 11 felony counts each.