Pokemon Sword and Shield’s pre-release problems started when Sword and Shield developer Game Freak confirmed that not all past generations of Pokemon would feature in the Switch game. Things went from bad to worse when a pre-release leak revealed the extent of the cuts within the game. Nintendo has finally addressed the leak by naming and shaming the outlet responsible and issuing a very public snub.
With combined sales totalling more than 16 million, the games have since gone on to become some of the biggest selling releases on Switch.
But things could have been worse when details were leaked in the run up to the game’s launch.
According to a new statement issued by Nintendo, the leaks came from a reviewer for the Portuguese website FNintendo.
Nintendo has said that it will no longer work with the publication, before warning that it takes breaches of the confidentiality incredibly seriously.
“In early November, Nintendo identified a number of photographs taken from game play that revealed multiple new and unannounced Pokemon from Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield,” the statement reads.
“These photographs had been posted online and Nintendo, together with The Pokemon Company, quickly identified the person responsible for these leaks, and took immediate action.”
Nintendo said that it will attempt to preserve future surprises using all avenues available. Whether this means witholding review code ahead of launch remains to be seen.
The statement continues: “These Pokemon 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 Pokemon Company. We will pursue all avenues to preserve surprises for players of future Pokemon titles.”