Another major game in a massively popular game franchise, and everyone expected for details about said game to leak online. In the case of Pokemon Sword and Shield, that’s exactly what happened. Usually, these leaks result in legal action of some kind to bring them down, and Nintendo is known to be very litigious. So it’s very lucky for the outlet where the leaks came from that they only got cut off by Nintendo.
The source of the leaks came from the Portuguese website FNintendo, which had been given a review copy of the game. Some pictures and details from Pokémon Sword and Shield were circulated online before launch, and it has been confirmed that the images were from a reviewer for that site. As a result of this development, Nintendo has cut ties with the source of the leak.
This means that the outlet will no longer get any coverage assistance, review copies or communications from Nintendo to market their games. For an outlet focused heavily on the brand, this could well be a death blow though, so that’s kind of sad. FNintendo has also stated that the writer responsible for the leak has been removed from their employment.
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.
The results of this were pretty easy to see coming. leaks are a major problem in the gaming and technology sectors, and companies rely on secrecy to keep their products from being revealed before they’re ready for public consumption. A leak can wreak havoc on stock prices and financial projections as well, so there’s a major economic incentive to keep leaks from happening.