Nintendo said the sentencing of hacker group member Gary Bowser was a “unique opportunity” to send a message about piracy.
Bowser was sentenced in February to 40 months in prison for his involvement with the hacker group team-Xecuter, which in 2013 began building and selling bypass devices to allow users to play illegal ROMs on consoles, including Switch and 3DS.
Axois has now received a transcript of Bowser’s sentencing, which reveals Nintendo’s position on the matter.
Ajay Singh, the company’s lawyer, reportedly told the court, “This is a very important moment for us.” He added: “Buying video games supports Nintendo and the Nintendo ecosystem, and it’s games that make people smile. That’s why we do everything we can to prevent game theft on Nintendo systems.”
U.S. District Court Judge Robert Lasnick appeared to agree with Singh, saying that television and films regularly glorify hacking, giving the impression that there is no harm in doing so given how much money large companies make.
At one point, Lasnik asked Singh, “What else can we do to convince people that this hacking/piracy is no good?”
Singh replied: “Further education of the population would be of great benefit.”
Bowser’s lawyer demanded that Bowser serve 19 months, most of which had already been served. Lasnik, however, sentenced him to 40 months, stating, “I think there has to be a role to play here in terms of the message.”
Nintendo was originally seeking a five-year prison sentence for the hacker, which Lasnik says he would have given were it not for the fact that Bowser spent almost half a year of his original prison sentence in solitary confinement 23 hours a day due to covid and other health issues. health.
In a statement released in February immediately following the verdict, Nintendo said it “appreciates the hard work and tireless efforts of federal prosecutors and law enforcement to stop illegal activity on a global scale that is causing serious harm to Nintendo and the video game industry.”
Team-Xecuter, of which Bowser was a part, generated tens of millions of dollars in sales, according to the US government.
Bowser was arrested in September 2020 and appeared in court last October on 11 felony charges. At trial, he pleaded guilty to only two counts and offered to pay Nintendo $4.5 million.
In a separate civil case, Bowser was ordered to pay an additional $10 million in fines to Nintendo for his involvement in the sale of console mods.