Japanese Man Arrested for Selling Modded Pokémon Content


A Japanese man was recently arrested for selling rare and modded Pokémon content from the latest games, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.

According to reports from NHK News and Automaton, the individual was able to amass millions of yen by selling rare Pokémon and custom orders through a specialized website.

What Happened?

According to the police, the suspect Yoshihiro Yamakawa was apparently selling rare Pokémon – Scarlet and Violet for as much as 13,000 yen (around $85 or £70) each.

He also offered bundle deals, such as “6 Pokémon for only $30“, catering to the high demand for powerful, rare, and unique Pokémon among players.

This illegal activity took place between December 2022 and March 2023 – a period when the newly-released Scarlet and Violet titles were at the height of their popularity.

However, the games were also plagued by performance issues, which may have contributed to players seeking alternative ways to acquire their desired Pokémon.

Is Modding Game Data Really Illegal in Japan?

According to the authorities, A 36-year-old individual has admitted to the charges, claiming that he was simply trying to make a living.

Unfortunately for him, his actions violated the “Unfair Competition Prevention Act” in Japan, which prohibits the modification and distribution of video game data.

The consequences for such violations can be severe, with offenders facing up to five years in prison, fines of over 5 million yen, or a combination of both.

This serves as a stark warning to anyone considering engaging in similar illegal activities, no matter how lucrative they may seem.

Companies like Nintendo and The Pokémon Company are known for being very strict when it comes to protecting their intellectual property.

As a result, they often take action against modders, emulators, forks, and piracy content using this law.

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