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Why This Breath Of The Wild Modder Just Got Arrested

Many gamers agree that cheating takes the fun out of playing, but it's a whole other ball game when someone gets arrested for it. On July 8, a Japanese modder named Ichimin Sho was arrested by the police in Japan's Niigata Prefecture for a possible violation of the Unfair Competition Prevention Law, according to Kotaku.


The 27-year-old gamer was caught using an online auction site to sell modified "Breath of the Wild" Switch save files, calling them "the strongest software" and charging around $31 (3,500 yen) each. The files offered ability boosts and hard-to-find items, meant to give players who purchased them a unique playing experience and a huge edge over the game's normal difficulty level. According to Dexerto, Sho described the version of the game he was selling as the "ultimate" "Breath of the Wild" experience. Upon his arrest, Sho revealed to police that he had earned about $90,000 selling modded files in the past 18 months, even before his "Breath of the Wild" business venture.

Zelda Fever?

Though this detainment might seem extreme to some gaming fans, it's not the first of its kind in Japan. In February 2021, a "Pokemon" modder was caught for a similar crime, having made over $10,000 in profit off of various game hacks. Even before that, in May 2015, an Alliance of Valiant Arms gamer was arrested for selling $160,000 worth of game cheats. Clearly, it's not all fun and games when it comes to breaking Japan's strict consumer laws.


The Unfair Competition Prevention Law was put in place to prevent the misleading of customers, as well as to deter hackers and bootleggers from creating "counterfeit goods" or causing "confusion with other party's widely-known indication of goods or business."

Now that you understand the legal side of what happened, you might be wondering why cheats for a game from 2017 are suddenly such a hot commodity in 2021? Simply put: "Zelda" is hotter right now than ever before, and not just because of the upcoming HD version of "Skyward Sword."

After years of anticipation and rumors, the "Breath of the Wild" sequel is set to drop in 2022. "Zelda" fans around the world are prepping for the next chapter by revisiting the original game, which could be part of why Sho was able to profit off of the excitement of fellow gamers in Japan.