Japan - developer who created cheat tools for online games is arrested Online game companies may now have a cause of action against developers who create cheat tools which give players who use them an unfair advantage over other players. This creates a frustrating experience for regular players who spend time, effort and in many cases, real money, for a better game experience. Such unfairness can lead to players abandoning the games altogether, causing financial harm to online game companies. A 30-year old man was arrested in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan in May 2014 for sales of cheat tools that he developed for six online games including "Alliance of Valiant Arms (A.V.A.)". This is the first criminal case in Japan in which a developer and seller of cheating tools has been arrested. The police alleged that the man earned at least 20 million yen in five years by selling cheating tools through an online website. The man was charged with violation of the Unfair Competition Prevention Act (UCTA), which prohibits assigning of programs that enable running of a program which avoids technological restriction measures. This man may be subject to a maximum of five years imprisonment and a maximum fine of five million yen. This case shows that where there is a breach of UCTA, online game companies may have another avenue to combat developers and sellers of cheat tools. To date, online game companies have only been limited to freezing of user accounts. For more information, please contact Daisuke Tatsuno or Kensaku Takase.