As many noticed, Pokémon Sword and Shield suffered from a heavy case of leaks prior to release. A week before launch, various images regarding unknown aspects of the game, including new Pokémon, surfaced and spread online. As expected, Nintendo and The Pokémon Company began to investigate accordingly.
Nintendo had reportedly discovered the identity of the person(s) behind the leaked content and planned to take legal action. Surprisingly, both it and The Pokémon Company released a joint statement today revealing the identity of those responsible. The complete statement reads as follows:
Nintendo and The Pokémon Company’s Joint Statement
In early November, Nintendo identified a number of photographs taken from game play that revealed multiple new and unannounced Pokémon from Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. These photographs had been posted online and Nintendo, together with The Pokémon Company, quickly identified the person responsible for these leaks, and took immediate action.
These Pokémon were leaked by a reviewer for the Portuguese website FNintendo, who had received an early copy of the game for review purposes. Both he and FNintendo failed to handle confidential material, resulting in a clear breach of the confidentiality agreement between Nintendo and the media outlet. As a result, Nintendo will no longer work with FNintendo.
Nintendo will always protect its intellectual property and brands. Leaks hurt not just Nintendo, but the thousands of employees who work hard to bring games to market, and the millions of fans around the world who look forward to news and surprises.
To surprise and delight players through new experiences is a shared passion for Nintendo and The Pokémon Company. We will pursue all avenues to preserve surprises for players of future Pokémon titles.
Soon after, FNintendo announced its own statement acknowledging the break in embargo. The site also mentions that it has terminated its employment of the reviewer. FNintendo will no longer receive early copies of Nintendo gamrs. You can read the full statement here.
Fortunately, these leaks haven’t hurt Sword and Shield. Both versions managed to become the fastest-selling Switch games of all time, along with receiving future DLC.
How do you feel about these statements? Let us know in the comments! For more things Pokémon, check out our Sword and Shield entry for our best RPGs of 2019. You can also have a look at how the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series is a guilty pleasure. Otherwise, keep it on Culture of Gaming for all things gaming!