Alleged Pokemon hacker arrested in Japan for manipulating save data

Scott Baird
Alleged Pokemon hacker arrested in Japan for manipulating save data

A Pokemon player has allegedly been arrested in Japan for selling hacked ‘mons for money, which is illegal there.

Breeding Pokemon for competitive battles can be an incredibly boring experience, which is why so many players eschew the traditional methods in favor of cheating. This has become a controversial topic in the fandom, as many don’t see these hacked ‘mons as “legitimate Pokemon,” especially in tournaments.

These circumstances have led fans to seek out hacked Pokemon that have all the attributes they need. It turns out that someone was allegedly offering these services and was arrested.

According to NHK (via Automaton), a 36-year-old named Yoshihiro Yamakawa was arrested in Kyoto on suspicion of selling hacked Pokemon online. They did this by manipulating saves in Pokemon Violet and creating six ‘mons that were sold for the equivalent of $30 USD.

While this might seem like a minor crime, it defies Japan’s Unfair Competition Prevention Act, with a potential penalty of up to five years in prison.

The suspect reportedly confessed to the charges, saying, “I did it to earn a living.”

Hacking Pokemon games is nothing new: it’s been going on since the days of Red & Blue. It’s actually an issue that has been present in the Surprise Trade mechanic in Pokemon Scarlet & Violet, and it’s an issue that likely won’t go away anytime soon, even in areas where it’s illegal.

Whether it be obtaining Event Pokemon that are no longer available or maxed-out competitive beasts, there will always be a demand for hacked Pokemon, regardless of consequences.

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