Nintendo “appreciates” law enforcement following Gary Bowser’s 3-year prison sentence

“This piracy scheme is estimated to have caused more than £48million in losses to video game companies"

Nintendo has released a statement praising US law enforcement following the news that Gary Bowser will serve a 3-year prison sentence for his involvement with hacking group Team Xecuter.

In 2020, Gary Bowser was arrested alongside one other Team Xecuter member for allegedly selling “illegal devices” that allowed users to play pirated video games on consoles like the Nintendo Switch and 3DS.

Bowser was reportedly charged with 11 felony counts, though pled guilty to two counts – Trafficking in Circumvention Devices, and Conspiracy to Circumvent Technological Measures and to Traffic in Circumvention Devices – in return for the other charges being dropped.

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“This piracy scheme is estimated to have caused more than $65million (£48million) in losses to video game companies,” said U.S. Attorney Nick Brown.  “But the damage goes beyond these businesses, harming video game developers and the small, creative studios whose products and hard work is essentially stolen when games are pirated.”

In December it was announced that Bowser would have to pay Nintendo $10million (£7.4million) in a separate civil case alongside the $4.5 million (£3.2) that was part of his plea deal.

Last week it was revealed that the US Government were pushing for Bowser to also serve a five-year prison sentence with a further 3 years of supervised release. His defence argued that the court were trying to “‘send a message’ of general deterrence by imposing a lengthy term,” and requested a 19-month sentence (16 of which had already been served).

It’s now been confirmed that Bowser has been sentenced to 40-months in jail.

“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,” said Nintendo’s statement.

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“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 first Nintendo Direct of 2022 has been and gone. Earlier this week (February 9), Nintendo fans were treated to around 40 minutes of new trailers, announcements and news for the Nintendo Switch platform. If you didn’t manage to catch the Direct live – or you just want a recap – every trailer and announcement from the Nintendo Direct can be seen here.

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