A 23-year-old man was arrested in Japan recently for selling hacked Pokémon Sword and Shield save data full of shiny Pokémon.
According to a report by Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun, the man had made over $10,000 by hacking and selling save data for the popular Nintendo Switch title. One confirmed example was in last April, when he had been given $41 for a save with a shiny Sobble in it. He has admitted to the charges.
This comes as part of a recently revitalized effort by The Pokémon Company to combat game hackers. They put out a notice last month warning players with “illegally modified data” that efforts would be made to protect their software. While most of this extended as far as banning the players from trading services like Pokémon Home, this recent arrest is a more extreme example.
Keep in mind: Japan has something called the Unfair Competition Protection Law that makes the editing and distribution of modified software data illegal. Such charges would be much harder to convincingly pursue in America and Europe, where software laws are not as strict.