Jailed Nintendo hacker Gary Bowser has said that he believes his sentence was meant to send a message to other potential hackers.
Bowser was released from prison last year after being sentenced for his part as a member of hacking group Team-Xecuter, which in 2013 began creating and selling circumvention devices enabling users to play illegal ROMs on consoles, including Switch and 3DS.
Now, speaking to The Guardian, Bowser has said he believes his sentence is a message to others in the scene. “The sentence was like a message to other people that [are] still out there, that if they get caught … [they’ll] serve hard time.”
Bowser was arrested in September 2020 and appeared in court the following year charged with 11 felony counts. Instead of facing trial, he pled guilty to two counts and offered to pay Nintendo $4.5 million.
Bowser is required to send Nintendo a portion of any money he earns after necessities have been paid.
“I’ll pay them what I can, which won’t be very much money, that’s for sure,” Bowser told The Guardian.
In a separate civil case ruling, Bowser was ordered to pay Nintendo an additional $10 million fine for his part in selling console mods.
According to the US government, Team-Xecuter’s criminal enterprise generated tens of millions of dollars in sales and resulted in up to $150 million in losses to victims.