Japan Outlaws Console Modding, Game Save Editors

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We have just learned that the Japanese government has amended its Unfair Competition Prevention Act to outlaw the reselling of product keys, modifying of game saves, and modifying of gaming consoles.

This has arisen due to data (“information recorded in electromagnetic record”) now being recognized as something to be protected under the exiting act alongside videos and programs. The official website lists the three new bans.

  1. Distributing tools and programs for altering save data
  2. Selling serial numbers or product keys that are unauthorized by the maker of the software in online auctions
  3. Providing a service to hack/edit save data, and/or modify/hack gaming consoles

Punishments for violating these laws include Civil action (“injunction request, claims for damages”) and Criminal punishment (“up to five years imprisonment or fine of not more than 5 million yen, or both”).

Europe had decided the opposite in 2012, allowing users to resell downloadable games. Some have theorized this may be the reason Steam started to allow refunds on it’s platform “for any reason.”

We’ll keep you guys posted.


Ryan was a former Niche Gamer contributor.

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