Nintendo YouTubers claim Pokemon Company thinks Nuzlockes are “on the same level” as ROM Hacks

Pokemon-Company-Calls-Nuzlockes-hackThe Pokemon Company

Pokemon players around the world have engaged in a gameplay tactic known as a “Nuzlocke run” in recent years. However, a social media post claims The Pokemon Company puts the harmless challenges on par with hacking.

Players have come up with dozens of interesting ways to create new challenges in the Pokemon series. One of the most popular is known as a “Nuzlocke”. The self-imposed rules don’t require any sort of alternation to base game files, and are simply there to freshen up old gameplay.

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While there are more Nuzlocke types than can be counted at this point, some of the most popular include the Shiny Locke, the Wonder Trade Locke, the Type Locke, and the first catch on a route Locke. Pokemon Players have also added other difficulty elements, like barring the use of potions or other helpful items, requiring extra training and careful strategy.

Nuzlocke challenges became especially popular after streamers on YouTube and Twitch took them on as a way to make playthroughs more interesting. However, it seems the community-born challenges may not be so harmless in the eyes of The Pokemon Company.

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Hosts say Nuzlocke Nintendo Minute video was shut down

In an interview video shared by Twitter user Patterrz, the hosts talk about an interaction with The Pokemon Company. They explain they thought the concept of a Nuzlocke would be the perfect focus for a Nintendo Minute episode.

The post includes a quote from the video reading “The Pokemon company thinks Nuzlocke runs are ‘on the same level as’ ROM Hacks according to former Nintendo employees”.While this is a startling proclamation from The Pokemon Company, there is a possibility they have confused Nuzlockes with ROM Hacks that players have used to create fan-made versions of existing games. While it is possible to add Nuzlocke features to these fan-made creations, the majority of Nuzlockes are done without the need for altering any original files of the game.

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Pokemon Serebii creator Joe Merrick fact-checks the Pokemon interview

While many fans of the series have added their thoughts to the surprising claims from the interview, Joe Merrick, creator of, has stepped in with further information.

In a response post on Twitter, Joe Merrick says, “I’ve actually spoken to TPCi about this. They confirmed to me that this is incorrect. They haven’t cut out people for doing Nuzlockes or anything like that. They don’t care as long as you follow the confines of what’s possible in the game.”

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He also adds in a following comment “I doubt this will spread as far because remember the saying I’m paraphrasing “a lie can spread around the world before the truth can even put on its shoes” Non-story.”

In another comment, PKMNcast producer Steve Sarumi adds, “I can also confirm when I talked to TPCi; they had no problems with it. Not sure how old their story is?”

This comment adds to the likelihood that The Pokemon Company misunderstood what a Nuzlocke is, and was instead attempting to speak out against ROM hacks and game alterations.

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Currently, there is no official statement from The Pokemon Company backing either claim. However, those who enjoy participating in Nuzlockes can likely continue doing so without worry. Adding self-imposed restrictions on gameplay that run within the game’s original structure is harmless and fun, and creates entertaining content for both gamers and stream viewers.

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