‘Pokémon Go’ to jail: Japanese man accused of selling modding accessories

Pokemon Go Plus
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Pokémon Go is a great way to get out and explore the world around you while also capturing adorable cartoon creatures, but you risk getting yourself into serious trouble if you cheat. One Japanese man discovered that the hard way, as he was arrested after allegedly selling modified accessories.

Daisuke Sugano, 37, was arrested last Friday, with police claiming he “changed the wiring” on the board of the Pokémon Go Plus wrist accessory to allow players to perform actions without having to actually press the button or otherwise interact with the game. Sugano allegedly sold these modified accessories to four people for about $220 in total during January and February. Sugano claimed that he didn’t think his actions were illegal, though he had shown his items on an online auction without getting permission from Nintendo.

Shortly after Pokémon Go launched in 2016, developer Niantic began issuing bans for players it believes to be cheating. At the time, the cheating mostly consisted of using third-party software to spoof one’s location through GPS, allowing them to “explore” areas halfway around the world with exclusive monsters.

Some players may have believed they got away with their actions, as their accounts weren’t deleted, but Niantic wasn’t done. Just a few months ago, the company began deactivating any Pokémon believed to have been caught using such programs. It has also sent warning messages and temporary bans to players caught using third-party software, but this likely won’t be the last time we hear about Pokémon Go cheaters. There will always be some new way people try to avoid exercise — it’s a tale as old as time.

This November, Nintendo and Game Freak are bringing the series to the Switch for the first time in Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee!, which combine the catching mechanics of the mobile game with detailed environments and adventure elements found in the handheld titles. It will contain interactivity with Pokémon Go, and the new Poké Ball Plus controller accessory can also connect to phones. A full role-playing Pokémon game for Switch is also on the way, though Game Freak is being tight-lipped about specific details right now.

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