A 27-year old man in Japan was arrested after he was caught attempting to sell modified Zelda: Breath of The Wild save files.
As reported by the Broadcasting System of Niigata (and spotted by Dextro) Ichimin Sho was arrested on July 8 after he posted about modified save files for the Nintendo Switch version of Breath of The Wild. He posted his services onto an unspecified auction site, describing it as “the strongest software.” He would provide modded save files that would give the player improved in-game abilities and also items that were difficult to obtain were made available as requested by the customer. In his original listing, he reportedly was charging folks 3,500 yen (around $31 USD) for his service.
Niigata Prefecture police spotted the listing and arrested Sho on July 8 for possibly violating the Unfair Competition Prevention Law. After being arrested, the man admitted he had sold modded saves and software before, telling police he had sold about 10 million yen (around $90,000 USD)in the past year and a half.
While this might seem wild, being arrested for selling save files, it’s not a new situation in Japan. Police in Japan have previously arrested folks for modifying video game software which violates the Unfair Competition Prevention Law in Japan. This same law was also used by Nintendo to sue a go-kart company in 2017. In 2015, another man in Japan was arrested after selling cheats in the popular online shooter Alliance of Valiant Arms.
In a comment given to the BSN, Deputy Director Okazawa of the Cybercrime Countermeasures Division of the Niigata Prefectural Police asked folks to not create, sell or buy modified save data or software.
This all seems a tad extreme to me. I’d reckon police in Japan (and around the world for that matter) should be more focused on far more dangerous and important crimes. But I guess a dude selling some modified save files for an old Switch game is also important too... to someone.