Nintendo pirate Bowser’s court transcripts reveal case opportunity to “educate” the public

The U.S. District Court Judge said the sentencing was "sending a message"

Transcripts of the court case from earlier this year that saw “hacker” Gary Bowser sentenced to 40 months in prison see Nintendo calling it a way to educate the public on the dangers of game piracy. 

Earlier this year it was revealed that Bowser will serve over three years in prison for selling “illegal devices” as part of Team Xecuter, which allowed users to play pirated games on the Nintendo Switch and 3DS.

Now, transcripts from the February 10 sentencing have been seen by Axios and Kotaku, and they reveal exactly why Nintendo pushed as hard as it did.

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“This is a very significant moment for us,” said Nintendo’s lawyer Ajay Singh. “It’s the purchase of video games that sustains Nintendo and the Nintendo ecosystem, and it is the games that make the people smile. It’s for that reason that we do all we can to prevent games on Nintendo systems from being stolen.”

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Credit: Nintendo

U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnick also asked Singh: “What else can we do to convince people that there’s no glory in this hacking/piracy?” To which Singh replied: “There would be a large benefit to further education of the public.”

Lasnick added when sentencing Bowser that he was “sending a message,” and that under normal circumstances Bowser would’ve been sentenced to “five years” in prison.

Bowser’s own lawyer took the stand to reiterate how the man was never a “hacker,” and instead took on the role of salesman.

“Mr. Bowser was not a developer. The developers, the people who actually made these devices and fixed them when Nintendo responded to it, they were paid very handsomely, much more than Mr. Bowser. He was not a reseller. He was not one of those independent contractors who was making a lot of money for that. That being said, the comments about Mr. Bowser’s role as being significant are accurate, and we’re not disputing that.”

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Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Image credit: Nintendo

At present both Max Lourarn and Yuanning Chen, who were part of Team Xecute, are still at large.

Bowser also took to the stand, with his comments about his time in custody transcribed in court. He said: “It has been a very traumatic experience for me getting arrested, coming here, going through this […] I went through all three of the COVID waves before there was even a vaccine available. I personally haven’t got the vaccine, and the reason, I am sceptical with my medical condition, how it will affect me.

“When I first got arrested, I was 410 pounds,” Bowser continued. “I had to use a wheelchair. I spent my life drinking, since I was age 15, after my mom died, and this is the longest time I have been sober in my life.”

Back in February Bowser’s defence team argued that the U.S. government was using his case to “take the full brunt” of its desire to send a message.

In other news, Riot Games has added a “Clutch Mute” feature to Valorant, making it easier for the last on a team to concentrate.

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