Thanks to Nintendo, things keep getting worse for Bowser — hacker Gary Bowser, that is. The embattled Canadian hacker has now been sentenced to 40 months in prison by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. The news comes via a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday.
Since 2013, Bowser has been the most public face of Team Xecuter, a hacking group that sold console mods. These mods enabled users to pirate games on Nintendo devices. After he initially pled guilty in November 2021, Bowser owed a cool $4.5 million to Nintendo. Soon afterward, Bowser owed an additional $10 million as part of a civil lawsuit. That may seem a bit extreme, but Nintendo claims that Bowser and his team cost the company $65 million in damages.
Previously, Bowser was facing up to 10 years in prison. The prosecution wanted him to serve five years, but Bowser’s defense team pointed out that he is effectively a scapegoat since other members of the hacking team could not be extradited to the United States. As for Bowser, once he was located in the Dominican Republic, he was deported to the U.S. to face justice.
In this case, “justice” was something of a compromise. In addition to the money he owes, Bowser will be serving up to 40 months in prison. This is less than what the prosecution wanted and far less than the potential maximum of 10 years. But the prison time and extreme amount of money he owes may very well serve as deterrents to future hacking groups that threaten Nintendo’s bottom line.