Pokemon

Pokemon Sword and Shield leakers hit by lawsuit from developers

by Paul Cotton

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Remember the Pokemon Sword and Shield leaks from the, at the time, unreleased strategy guide? Well, the Pokemon Company were less than happy about them and have taken legal action against the leakers in a new lawsuit.

The lawsuit targets three unknown US residents who were allegedly the first to share images from the Pokemon Sword and Shield strategy guide. These images spread like wildfire through various websites and social media platforms after they first surfaced.

Included in the leaks were the evolutions of the Gen 8 starter Pokemon — Grookey, Scorbunny and Sobble — and several Gigantamax species. The lawsuit contains 38 exhibits used as evidence, of which 19 are the leaked images.

Pokemon Company
Pokemon Company
The strategy guide leak appears to be the first to reveal the Galar starter evolutions...

People working on the development of Pokemon Sword and Shield, and those with access to unrevealed information surrounding the game, are required to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). These are legally binding contracts preventing those who sign them from sharing details with a third party.

The Pokemon Company (TPCi) seems particularly upset about the release of what they consider secret information. The lawsuit even alludes to their intention of not sharing these details before the game's release on November 15.

"There is value in this secrecy. The videogame industry is highly competitive with thousands of new games released annually. To maximize consumer interest and excitement in new Pokémon games, TPCi and its partners carefully time announcements about new Pokémon, features and functionality," part four of the introduction within the lawsuit states.

It goes on to say: "TPCi seeks to hold Defendants responsible for their misappropriation of TPCi’s confidential and trade secret information, and requests all appropriate relief including but not limited to injunctive and monetary relief, damages, an accounting, and attorneys’ fees."

Prior to these being leaked on November 1, there had been months of leaks relating to Pokemon Sword and Shield, although none of them could prove to be 100% credible. Given a lot of these were random anonymous forum posts, it seems Nintendo and the Pokemon Company weren't too concerned with them.

There were also substantial datamines in the days leading up to the release but it isn't clear how the dataminers got their hands on a copy of the game.

We'll have to wait and see how the case, first reported by Forbes, plays out and will continue to keep you updated with any further developments.