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"Game Bars" now illegal in Japan


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Those of you who have been to places like Loading Bar or One Life Left (in Norwich, so I'm sure you're all familiar) will know what I mean by "game bar". 





Police said Wednesday they have arrested four people in Kyoto and Kobe for allegedly allowing customers at their bars to play video games without the permission of the game makers in what they believe is the first such arrest in Japan.


Kyoto video game bar manager Ryo Koishima, 32, was arrested Tuesday, and Yuki Nishio, 32, who managed a separate bar in the city and his brother Haruto, 29, were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of copyright violations.


The three are suspected of renting video game software and allowing customers to play them in April without obtaining the permission of game makers Nintendo Co. and Capcom Co., Kyoto police said.


The police confiscated a total of 30 game consoles and 1,100 game titles from the two bars. The bar run by the Nishio brothers is believed to have had monthly sales of 1.5 million yen ($13,600), they said.


Separately Wednesday, Kobe police arrested Hironori Kin, 31, the president of a video game bar operator in Kobe, suspecting his bars installed game hardware for home use and allowed customers to play popular games such as Capcom's Monster Hunter: World and Nintendo's Splatoon 2, in April.


The arrests were made after the Association of Copyright for Computer Software issued warnings to video game bars nationwide earlier this year, and Nintendo and other game makers lodged criminal complaints against such bars.


This reminds me of the clampdown on video game rental shops in the early 1990s, when Sega and Nintendo tried to get game rentals banned. I think they ended up paying some sort of licence in the end, like video rental places.


Wonder if they'll do something similar over here? I don't think such places are as big or common as in Japan but they're certainly increasing. I've noticed a few pubs in Norwich now have games consoles out for customers to play on.


After all, you need a licence to show films or play music. How is this any different?

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2 minutes ago, Dig Dug said:

This is really bad news for a lot of players. Japanese Splatoon was built on places like Tokyo Game Bar and the players will suffer as a result.

If only there was some other way to play Splatoon 2 in public.

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1 minute ago, VN1X said:

I've got something to put in you
I've got something to put in you

I've got something to put in you
At the game bar, game bar, game bar


Is it a cartridge?

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The Japanese videogame rental/re-sale laws have been draconian for decades. It used to be illegal to re-sell games, full-stop. And this fact is printed on many old game boxes from Japan.


I think that law got overturned at some point, but it may have been re-introduced since then.

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