Japan Enforces Tighter Restrictions On Game Piracy and Console Modding

No more Gamesharks for us then.

We all know that videogames are huge in Japan, we wouldn’t have Sony or Nintendo if it weren’t for the country’s love for video games. They’re one of the few countries that still have an active arcade scene, that alone accounts for their passion for gaming. A new law now puts a spotlight on an issue that has haunted video games for years: game save states and console modding.

With any game, whether video or not, there’s bound to be cheating. Like who among us didn’t steal a few hundred bucks in Monopoly right? While there are many ways to cheat, editing your save game file is not as frowned upon compared to full-on hacking to  a game. Console modding however, are usually done to play pirated games, so it is definitely illegal.

Now under a recent change in Japan’s Unfair Competition Prevention Act, the following three rulings were added: distribution of game save data editors and programs; distribution, selling, auctioning serial codes and product keys without the software maker’s permission’ and services that offer the editing/hacking of save data, and/or modifying/hacking game consoles. So anything like the Action Replay or Gameshark is definitely a no-no now.


Those who commit the crime will be punished with a 5 million yen  fine or even face a jail sentence of up to 5 years. Though piracy is a whole lot less rampant as it was a decade ago, we do urge our readers to do the right thing and keep it original.