Pokemon are a serious topic—whether it be from the real world, or the Pokemon video game or anime universe, many of these creatures are rare and much coveted. Each Pokemon is unique, some more unique than others, so much so that players from all over the world would spend real-world money just to get their hands on particular Pokemon for their collection or for competitive reasons.
For so many years, both The Pokemon Company and Game Freak have had to implement bans on several players who used either hacked or modified Pokemon during online or physical tournaments. They’re serious about this too; in fact, The Pokemon Company recently released a statement that warned players about the use of “altered” Pokemon.
Now, it appears that someone from Japan is already experiencing a severe punishment for the selling of hacked Pokemon in Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield. According to Asahi News, a 23-year-old man from Nagoya, Japan was recently arrested by the Aichi Prefecture Police for infringing upon the Unfair Competition Prevention Act.
To put it simply, the man illegally modified the save data of Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield, selling “rewritten” Pokemon to dedicated players for thousands of Yen. According to their findings, the suspect allegedly sold a hacked Sobble for 4,400 Japanese yen (which would be around $42 when converted). Not only that, he reportedly altered the move sets of a couple of Shiny Pokemon.
The hacked Sobble was allegedly sold last April 2020 to a Kyoto office worker, and it appears that the suspect may have been selling these modified or hacked versions of Pokemon for more or less a year now. The report says that the man was able to earn about ¥1,150,000 or $10,000 in sales during that time.
In a press conference, the prefectural police showcased the desktop PC that the suspect used to rewrite the save data. Asahi News also reports that the suspect confessed and was guilty of his crimes.
Among other things, the Unfair Competition Prevention Act not only serves to protect against players illegally modifying video game save data, but against the selling of these data to others—and the 23-year-old man ticked off all the boxes in this regard.
It appears that ever since the release of Pokemon Home, which is an exciting new storage service for both the Nintendo Switch and mobile devices via cloud, players have gotten even more creative with how they hack and modify various Pokemon.
In other Pokemon news, Niantic was able to win the lawsuit against Global++, a development team responsible for creating a cheating application for the popular AR mobile game Pokemon Go. So, given how the developer won this case along with the fact that a Japanese man actually got arrested, it’s safe to say that The Pokemon Company is more than serious when it comes to removing cheating and cheaters in its games.
At the same time, the company is still most likely busy preparing for the Pokemon franchise’s 25th anniversary, which is expected to host a series of exciting festivities.