Ichimin Sho arrested in Japan for hacking The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild to sell modified save data hacked ultimate Unfair Competition Prevention Act Niigata Prefectural Police

If you go to Japan and want to avoid prison, one thing you should definitely not do is… sell video game save data, apparently. Via SoraNews24, 27-year-old Chinese national Ichimin Sho was arrested yesterday for selling modified (hacked) save data for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for 3,500 yen ($31.77) through a Japanese e-commerce site back in April. Sho had described the data in his listing as “the ultimate save data” because it could increase Link’s stats in whatever way desired and make it easier to obtain items, but Niigata Prefectural Police arrested him for violating the Unfair Competition Prevention Act.

More specifically, he was accused of “providing services to circumvent the technical restrictions” that Nintendo had placed on Nintendo Switch, even though the Breath of the Wild save data was actually modified by a currently unidentified accomplice. Sho confessed to the crime and admitted to making roughly 10 million yen ($90,754) in total from selling modified video game save data since December 2019.

On one hand, 10 million yen is a lot of money, but on the other hand, hacking some save data to enable individual people to more easily have fun with a non-competitive game doesn’t seem like it warrants arrests. That seems more like a matter for civil suits, and Nintendo has plenty of experience suing people. Nonetheless, this is the second time this year someone has been arrested in Japan over selling modified / hacked game data, with the first case being over Pokémon Sword and Shield.

If this modified Breath of the Wild save data has you in the mood for more arrests in Japan, check out the guy who defied gravity to steal Pokémon cards, the 56-year-old man who assaulted a friend over Pokémon GO, or the middle-aged jerk who sent death threats to Square Enix

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John Friscia
Head Copy Editor for Enthusiast Gaming, Managing Editor at The Escapist. I'm a writer who loves Super Nintendo and Japanese role-playing games to an impractical degree. I really miss living in South Korea. And I'm developing the game Boss Saga!

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