Nintendo's Battle With A Pirate Named Bowser
Nintendo has just scored a huge win after finally managing to throw Bowser in jail. I'm not talking about Bowser from the Mario games, mind you, that one's actually just a misunderstood heartthrob. I'm talking about an actual person whose last name happens to be Bowser. Again, not to be mistaken with Doug Bowser, the actual president of Nintendo of America.
The Bowser in question is Canadian hacker Gary Bowser. Please don't let the name he shares with one of the most ineffective villains of all time fool you, this guy is a big deal. Bowser is one of the heads of Team-Xecuter, a prolific team of hackers that created mod-chips that allowed people to play pirated games on their Nintendo consoles. I'm vocally against Nintendo's relentless crusade against even completely free fan creations, but Nintendo claims Bowser's game was a very different one. In the eyes of the company, he was less of a Robin Hood of the Internet age that merely wanted to allow the less fortunate to play Nintendo video games at non-egregious prices, and more of a straight-up piracy profiteer.
After getting caught by US security agencies and handled as if he were a real monster, like Dr. Eggman, Bowser got handed a prison sentence of three years. While I understand that the company shouldn't be allowing someone with that name to kill their business, I have a hard time believing they're making the right choice here. First off, Nintendo claims Bowser's actions cost Nintendo up to $65 million. Those figures feel completely made up, considering it's pretty hard to track exactly how many people are pirating your software, and nigh impossible to find out how many of those people would have actually paid full price if they hadn't had the chance to get the software for free. On top of that, antagonizing Bowser is throwing away an asset.
Let's put it like this: Your company has accidentally invested $65 million looking for someone capable of finding its biggest flaws. When it finally finds the person, should it not just hire the guy on the spot?
Top Image: Nintendo