In a joint statement published today, Nintendo and The Pokémon Company revealed that they have tracked down the source of last November’s notorious Pokémon Sword and Shield leaks.
In the lead-up to the release of the games, leaked images surfaced on the usual gaming haunts. These showed new and unannounced Pokémon set to feature in the games, including starters and their evolutionary stages.
The leaks spread far and wide, sparking controversy with developer Game Freak labeled as a liar for not using new models as promised.
Four months on, Nintendo and The Pokémon Company have announced they were able to successfully track down the source of the leaks – a reviewer for a Nintendo-focused Portuguese publication.
In unorthodox fashion, Nintendo doesn’t merely allude to the source. The company outright names the culprit and confirms it has blacklisted the writer – and the website too.
The statement reads:
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 and The Pokémon Company’s intentions are clear; they take confidentiality seriously and won’t hesitate to publicly shame anyone responsible for any breaches.
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.
Alongside, FNintendo published a statement taking responsibility for the leaks. It confirmed a reviewer leaked the images after receiving review copies of the games. FNintendo revealed it has since severed all ties with the culprit.