Pokemon Diamond & Pearl event sparks backlash for locking Arceus behind $60 paywall

Brent Koepp
Pokemon Legends Arceus protagonist next to Arceus BDSP screenshot.
Game Freak / ILCA

ILCA announced that they were finally adding the Azure Flute quest to Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl. Some players became outraged when it was revealed that the event requires fans to have spent an additional $60 to access it.

Following the launch of Pokemon Diamond & Pearl in 2006, Game Freak was gearing up to release a special event that would give players the iconic Mythical Arceus. Despite the Azure Flute making its way into the game’s code, the item never worked. In 2013, Director Junichi Masuda revealed the quest had been scrapped due to being “too confusing” for Trainers. 

Almost 16 years later, the Nintendo developer announced that they were finally completing the storyline in the 2021 Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl remakes. Excitement over the decade-long mystery finally coming to a close was quickly dampened, however, after it was also announced that players would need to pay an additional $60 to access the event. 

Pokemon Diamond & Pearl Arceus event screenshot from 2006.
Game Freak / The Pokemon Company
After a decade, the lost event is finished in Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl.

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Arceus event sparks outrage

Studio ILCA surprised fans when they announced that Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl would be getting the long-awaited Arceus Azure Flute event on March 16, 2022. The special quest would launch alongside the Version 1.3 update.

While players were initially excited by the decade-old quest finally coming to life, some quickly became upset when it was revealed that event is only being given out to those who have also purchased Pokemon Legends Arceus – which retails for $60.

Trainers took to social media to voice their anger as many hit out at the Nintendo developer for locking the storyline behind a “paywall.”


“This is bulls**t, why do I need to have Legends Arceus to get Arceus in BDSP?” one fan asked. “I don’t like that game and I’m never gonna buy it.”

Another player exclaimed, “Buy our other game to access s**t in this older game.” 

Others argued that the update should have been free. “Bulls**t. I don’t wanna buy Legends Arceus just to get a Pokemon that should be in the game for free!” a commenter posted.

Angry Pokemon fans criticize Arceus event on Twitter screenshot.

Users became further angered when it was clarified that their Legends Arceus save file would also need to have all main quests in the Hisui region completed.

“While I’m glad that I do have this, it is unfortunate for those who aren’t able to pick up the game to be losing out on this event,” a fan replied.

“And just like that, I can’t get Arceus. I’m one of the few that didn’t really enjoy Arceus too much. I won’t deny the game is amazing but it just wasn’t my cup of tea,” another said in reaction.

Pokemon fans disappointed in Pokemon BDSP Azure Flute event screenshot.

Many players were also critical of the fact that they were already able to catch Arceus in Pokemon Legends. However, it should be pointed out that in Pokemon Legends, the Mythical is Shiny-locked. Whereas in BDSP, you can theoretically hunt for its rare variant.

Despite fans’ excitement for the decade-old event finally being completed, some are not too thrilled about the quest requiring them to own two $60 games to gain access to it. Only time will tell whether The Pokemon Company will take the feedback into consideration.