Pokemon Sword and Shield Sobble modder arrested in Japan

Pokemon Sword and Shield
(Image credit: Nintendo)

A Japanese man was arrested for selling a modded Sobble from Pokemon Sword and Shield, reports Kotaku (opens in new tab) by way of Asahi News (opens in new tab)

In April 2020, the 23-year-old Nayoga resident allegedly hacked the Sobble using his desktop PC and sold it to a Pokemon Sword and Shield player in Kyoto for 4,400 yen - which equates to $42. This is a direct violation of Japanese law under the Unfair Competition Prevention Act, which "provides measures, etc. for the prevention of unfair competition and for the compensation for loss or damage caused by unfair competition" according to Japanese Law Translation (opens in new tab)

This crime bust wasn't orchestrated over less than $50, however. The Sobble sinner is believed to have been the head of his own Pokemon crime syndicate of sorts, earning over $10,000 by selling modded Pokemon Sword and Shield monsters. According to Asahi News, he's already confessed to the crimes, but it's unclear what sort of sentencing an elaborate Pokemon modding ring warrants. 

Modding and Pokemon Sword and Shield go hand-in-hand, with modders adding "missing" Pokemon back in November 2019 to satiate players' appetite for every Pokemon from previous generations. It's unclear how that mod would be viewed under the Japanese Unfair Competition Prevention Act, but as far as we know no one has gotten arrested for beefing up their Pokedex - yet.

Meanwhile, if you're looking for officially sanctioned ways to find more Pokemon, you can check out the Pokemon Sword and Shield Crown Tundra DLC.

Pokemon Sword and Shield players recently discovered an in-game PokeStop sign.

Alyssa Mercante

Alyssa Mercante is an editor and features writer at GamesRadar based out of Brooklyn, NY. Prior to entering the industry, she got her Masters's degree in Modern and Contemporary Literature at Newcastle University with a dissertation focusing on contemporary indie games. She spends most of her time playing competitive shooters and in-depth RPGs and was recently on a PAX Panel about the best bars in video games. In her spare time Alyssa rescues cats, practices her Italian, and plays soccer.