The leaks began a couple of weeks prior to Pokemon Sword
and Shield’s release, with images circulating around the internet showcasing unreleased images of Pokemon, including new Gigantamax forms, taken directly from the official strategy guide. The Pokemon Company’s lawyers claim that the leaks had caused “irreparable injury” to Pokemon and that the company “is entitled to damages in an amount to be proven at trial.”
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According to the legal document detailing the case, 18 images were leaked from the strategy guide and shared in Discord, before being circulated to 4chan, Reddit, and eventually the rest of the internet. In all, “[The Pokemon Company] identified over 300 URLs on dozens of platforms that linked to websites containing the leaked Strategy Guide pictures.”
It also mentions the leaks are responsible for “reducing the fan interest and engagement The Pokemon Company and its partners generate by keeping key elements of the games secret” which players would eventually obtain by purchasing the games and said strategy guide.
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The Pokemon Company are seeking financial reimbursement from the individuals responsible for “all losses caused by [their] wrongful conduct” as well as any legal punishment that the court deems appropriate.
It’s very clear that The Pokemon Company and Nintendo take these actions very seriously, with Nintendo recently pursuing websites uploading illegal ROMs of their games. While one might argue whether or not these leaks affected sales of Pokemon Sword and Shield, or the subsequent strategy guide, The Pokemon Company want to make an example out of those who distribute information without their consent, at the very least.
For more on Pokemon Sword and Shield, check out our list of the best Pokemon, as well as where to find every Pokemon in the Galar region to complete your PokeDex. If you’re still collecting your way through the games, check out IGN’s massive Pokemon Sword and Shield wiki guides.
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