The Pokémon Company International has filed a lawsuit against the three unidentified individuals who were responsible for multiple Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield leaks in the weeks leading up to launch.
As Forbes reports, the defendants had taken and shared “illicit pictures of pages from an unreleased strategy guide created to accompany the release of two highly-anticipated video games.”
These images had “revealed never-before-seen Pokémon and evolutions of Pokémon,” which were intended to have been kept secret until the games’ worldwide release.
Surfacing on Discord and 4Chan on November 1st, it wasn’t long before they were reposted on Facebook, Twitter, and Imgur – which soon saw them appear on gaming news websites.
This, it is alleged, threatened to “undermine the carefully cultivated excitement and interest that The Pokémon Company International and its partners have worked so hard to generate.”
Gigantamax Machamp was the first new Pokémon that was leaked on Discord, with several images that were posted having only been present in the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield: The Official Galar Region Strategy Guide Collector’s Edition. This was then posted on 4chan 17 minutes later, and, soon after, on Reddit, before spreading worldwide.