Recently indicted Nintendo hacker Gary Bowser has been handed a 40-month prison sentence by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington for creating and selling “console-hacking software and devices used to play pirated Nintendo Switch games.” This is according to a victory lap-style press release published by Nintendo this afternoon that dedicates much of its word count to praising American law enforcement.
We’ve included the full text below so you can see what a sizable chunk of gratitude it is. The way Nintendo thanks these feds, you’d assume they brought in the next Pablo Escobar instead of some guy who helped folks pirate video games.
Nintendo appreciates the hard work and tireless efforts of federal prosecutors and law enforcement agencies to curb illegal activities on a global scale that cause serious harm to Nintendo and the video game industry. In particular, Nintendo would like to thank the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) of the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Computer Crime & Intellectual Property Section and the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs for their significant contribution and assistance.
The U.S. government’s prosecution argued in court documents filed last week that Bowser was the “public face” of a “criminal enterprise” known as Team Xecuter, estimating that the group’s actions resulted in $65 million in losses for Nintendo (these statistics are usually questionable) and suggesting five years in prison as punishment.
Bowser’s defense, on the other hand, claimed he was the “least culpable” of the three arrested members of Team Xecuter and was only being used to “send a message” because his co-defendants reside in countries that may not extradite them.
Bowser also agreed to pay Nintendo a sum of $10 million during a separate, civil case that was settled in December 2021.
I don’t know what to say here. I know we’ve made light of this whole thing because of the dude’s name, but it sure seems excessive that he’s losing three years of his life due to selling video game modchips.