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Reselling game keys without permission is now illegal in Japan

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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 (opens in new tab).

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 (opens in new tab), which has been discontinued. Sites like G2A (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab), generally remains a grey area. 

Cheers, GamesIndustry.biz (opens in new tab).

Fraser Brown
Online Editor

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.