Japan Reforms Lead To Game Save Editors and Console Modding Bans

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Published by Digz 2 weeks ago , last updated 2 weeks ago

Siliconera  has posted an update regarding a recent change in Japan whereby reform in the Unfair Competition Prevention Act made in December 2018 has led to drastic and arguably draconian measures in regards to three key areas of gaming which are:

  • Distribution of game save data editors and programs
  • Distribution, selling, auctioning serial codes and product keys without the software maker’s permission
  • Services that offer the editing/hacking of save data, and/or modifying/hacking game consoles

This means that in Japan you can no longer use or distribute game save or any console modding services such as  things like save game editors or Action Replays. If caught offenders can be liable to be fined up to 5 million yen or face a five year imprisonment - yes a five year imprisonment! You can read full article here.

Comments on this Article
2 weeks ago by Lindale

Just to clarify, this does only apply to consoles, not PC as well? Any form of modding on consoles has been illegal for a long time. As far as I am aware, Bethesda Creation Club is the one and only time modding on consoles has been legal, and only because it it paid mods.


As for PC, mods are what make a game worth playing more than once. As long as those mods stay in single-player, where they belong, mod all you want. As long as you are the only one affected, there is nothing wrong with adding fun to a game.

2 weeks ago by Zipacna
Posted by Lindale

Any form of modding on consoles has been illegal for a long time. As far as I am aware, Bethesda Creation Club is the one and only time modding on consoles has been legal, and only because it it paid mods.

I don't know the legal situation in Japan. I know they write it into the agreements you have to accept to use the console, but those sorts of requirements are actually illegal themselves in Germany at the very least, but I think that's an EU law now. You can't forbid me from doing things to stuff I own. The impact on the warranty is another thing, but it's not illegal here. No idea what the rule in Japan was.

Plus, I know several companies (including the publishers of the games) were legally selling savegame editors and basically cheat machines that linked up to console and cartridge when those were still generally the medium of game delivery. Hell, I own an old one. Missed the global event back then, still got a Mew in Pokemon Blue, my dude.

2 weeks ago by Digz

I don't believe save game editors are illegal in the EU? I can still purchase action replay stuff and all sorts here in the UK legitimately and I know friends have bought that kind of thing for their Pokemon games years ago.