Individuals who intentionally leaked huge amounts of information about Pokémon Sword and Shield prior to their official release date have felt the full force of the law.
As updated documents filed yesterday have revealed (H/T, Polygon), two defendants accused by The Pokémon Company of distributing screenshots of the Switch exclusives from an unreleased strategy guide have been ruled against in a Seattle court. Both have been fined an eye-watering $150,000 each for their involvement in the act, with the total to be paid directly to the other party in reparation for any damages caused and attorney’s fees accrued as a result of the lawsuit.
According to additional details provided in the case, The Pokémon Company, despite taking the necessary steps to ensure its property wasn’t misappropriated, was unable to prevent the worldwide circulation of screenshots taken in this manner due to them having already been sent to countless others through Discord.
Likewise, a Portuguese website unrelated to the above and which published numerous leaks was swiftly blacklisted by Nintendo, though it remains unclear with any legal proceedings were brought against the domain’s owners.
This is far from the first time that assets belonging to an upcoming Pokémon release have prematurely found their way onto the internet, of course, but the ensuing #GameFreakLied hashtag which started trending on Twitter in response to the leaks was unprecedented. Fury from Pokéfans eventually abated in the weeks and months that followed Sword and Shield‘s release, though it’ll be interesting to see if the controversy has any impact on the sales of future releases, most notably this year’s Diamond & Pearl remakes.
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Source: Nintendo Life