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Reselling game keys without permission is now illegal in Japan

Reselling game keys without permission from software makers, selling tools that can modify game saves, and providing game or console modding services are now illegal in Japan because of a recent amendment to the Unfair Competition Prevention Act.

Last month, the act was expanded to include “data (information recorded in electromagnetic record)”, which covers editing saves and enabling people to edit saves. 

The act will put a halt to companies selling save editors for console games, like Cyber Save Editor, which has been discontinued. Sites like G2A that resell keys for significant discounts and facilitate reselling between individuals will now be affected by the act, as well. 

Punishments include civil measures, such as an injunction or a claim for damages, as well as criminal penalties, including five years in prison, a ¥5 million fine or both. 

Console modders have been targeted with legal action before, but key reselling, despite a lot of criticism, generally remains a grey area. 


Fraser Brown
Fraser is the sole inhabitant of PC Gamer's mythical Scottish office, conveniently located in his flat. He spends most of his time wrangling the news, but sometimes he sneaks off to write lots of words about strategy games.