3 arrested for running illegal ‘game bars’ with home consoles

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-Three men were arrested for illegally charging customers to play copyrighted video games on home-use consoles such as the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch at “game bars” on June 13, Kyoto prefectural police said.

The men were arrested on suspicion of violating the Copyright Law, specifically in regard to screening rights. All three have admitted to the charges, according to police.

The suspects are Yuki Nishio, 32, owner of “Game Bar Clantz” in Kyoto’s Nakagyo Ward, his unnamed brother who manages the business, and Ryo Koishima, 32, owner of “Amusement Bar Colorful” in Shimogyo Ward.

In April, the three are suspected of profiting from customers playing popular video games such as “Monster Hunter World” and “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” in their premises without the permission of copyright holders including Nintendo Co. and Capcom Co.

Police raided the two game bars on the night of June 12 and confiscated 1,183 items, including game consoles and software.

Game Bar Clantz charges 500 yen ($4.50) per hour, excluding food expenses, while Amusement Bar Colorful costs 3,000 yen per 90 minutes to use, police said.

Video games giants Nintendo, Capcom and Sony Corp. reported the two bars to police in May and June, leading to the investigation.