bottom line: Earlier this year, Nintendo scored a legal victory over a hacker who played a part in the Japanese gaming giant’s roughly $65 million loss over several years. Ultimately, Gary Bowser was sentenced to 40 months in prison and ordered to pay millions in fines for his role as a top member of Team Xecuter. Based on the recently released transcripts of Bowser’s sentencing, it appears that Nintendo wanted to show Bowser as an example and send a warning to the pirate community.
In a recently released transcript of the verdict received by AxiosNintendo lawyer Ajay Singh called it a “very big moment” for the company.
“Buying video games keeps Nintendo and the Nintendo ecosystem alive, and games are what make people smile,” Singh said. “That’s why we do everything we can to prevent the theft of games for Nintendo systems.”
Nintendo’s lawyer also touched on the ethics of the scam, which he says was made possible by the group’s hacks. “Parents should not be forced to explain to their children why people cheat and why games are sometimes unfair just because one person wants an unfair advantage.”
During the hearing, U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnick asked Singh what else could be done to convince people that hacking and piracy don’t bring glory. “Further public education would be of great benefit,” Singh said.
Speaking of the verdict, the judge said, “I think there’s a role to play here in terms of the message.” He added that in normal times he would have issued the full 60-month fine that the officials were seeking.
Bowser did not seem fully convinced that imprisonment would help solve the problem. In an appeal to the judge, he said that so much money can be made from piracy that the prison term is negligible.
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