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Tampering with Pokémon’s movesets may seem insignificant, but for one Japanese man, it could lead to jail time and a hefty fine.

According to the Japanese website NHK, and reported originally by IGN, A 36-year-old named Yoshihiro Yamakawa was arrested this week in Kyoto after being caught modifying data in Pokémon Violet. Yamakawa reportedly altered abilities, made Pokémon shiny, and edited movesets. He faces up to 5 years in prison and a fine of five million yen, or about $32,600 USD, which seems excessive for modding Pokémon.

“Stop right there!”

Now, why is this such a big deal when I can go on eBay or Etsy right now and buy hacked Pokémon? It all has to do with differences in laws. The Unfair Competition Prevention Act in Japan prohibits anyone from altering and/or selling save data. While it may seem like a minor offense, it’s still illegal in Japan. It’s unclear if Yamakawa will receive any jail time, as an investigation is pending.

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Written by Roberto Diaz

Embark on a gaming odyssey with a passionate player deeply immersed in pop culture. Roberto not only conquers virtual realms but also dominates the pop music scene, turning life into a harmonious adventure filled with gaming triumphs and cultural insights.