Game Console Modding Illegal In Japan, Punishable By Prison And Fines

Photo: Fenryl (Flickr)
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It is illegal to mod game save data and game consoles in Japan. Both are punishable by up to five years in prison and fines up to 5 million yen ($46,000).

According to the official site for Japan’s Association of Copyright for Computer Software, modding game save data and game consoles violates the country’s Unfair Competition Prevention Law. The Japanese government is expanding regulations to protect game console content.


The news was first published by Japanese game sites like Hachima Kikou after peripheral maker Cyber Gadget stopped selling its Save Editor data tool, allowing players to use cheats and patch codes.

Cyber Gadget has since stopped selling the Save Editor on its Japanese site.

The Association of Copyright for Computer Software also mentions that unofficial software codes and keys are also illegal. Specifically, mentioned is offering these on online auctions and making them available for download. Finally, modding game consoles, as well as games, are included the third provision mentioned by the association.

These additional stipulations were included under amendments to the Unfair Competition Prevention Law.

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Brian Ashcraft

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored five books, including most recently, Japanese Whisky: The Ultimate Guide to the World's Most Desirable Spirit.