Zelda hacker arrested for selling illegal Breath of the Wild save files


A Legend of Zelda fan has been arrested in Japan for altering his Breath of the Wild save data. The 27-year-old was arrested by police after trying to sell the pirated Nintendo Switch save files.

While modifying video game save data isn’t a big deal in most parts of the world, Japan has cracked down on hackers trying to take advantage of compromised data in recent years. For example, in February, a Pokemon Sword & Shield fan was sent to jail for selling hacked Shiny Pokemon.

A few months later, another Nintendo franchise made headlines for a similar crime. A Legend of Zelda hacker was arrested in July for attempting to sell Breath of the Wild save files containing many cheats for the popular Nintendo Switch title.


A Legend of Zelda fan is in hot water selling pirated save files.

Breath of the Wild save file sends Zelda’s hacker to jail

According to reports from the Broadcasting System of Niigata, Tokyo resident Ichimin Sho was arrested by Niigata police on July 8 after attempting to sell save data from Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The man originally listed Nintendo’s save data on an auction site in April.

In Sho’s original listing for Zelda data, he described it as “the ultimate save data” and offered a service to modify files as customers wanted. From rare items to maximum player stats, the hacker promised users an “ultimate” version of the Nintendo Switch 2017 title.

The auction listing caught the attention of Niigata Prefecture police who arrested Sho in July. According to authorities, he has confessed to having sold more than “10 million yen” of backup files so far, which amounts to approximately $ 90,814 in USD.

Police evidence Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Niigata Broadcasting System

Evidence collected by Niigata police.

Sho has been selling Nintendo save files modified since 2019 for around 3,500 yen each ($ 32). Although the arrest may seem extreme, Japan cracked down on modified software with the Unfair Competition Prevention Act that was passed two years ago.

Interestingly, a Pokemon fan found himself in hot water for the same crime in February 2021. In this case, the 23-year-old was arrested after selling over $ 10,000 worth of hacked Shiny Pokemon in the Sword & Shield series.

H / T: Niigata Diffusion System

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