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Let's talk about those Pokemon Switch 'leaks'

  1. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord

    Ok guys, let's have a chat about those 'leaks' that have been doing the rounds this week.

    By now you've no doubt seen the buzz online that the forthcoming Pokemon Switch game/s may have been leaked online ahead of what's likely to be a reveal this month (or at the latest, at Nintendo's E3 Direct in June).

    Things kicked off with what's honestly, a pretty vague and mostly meaningless, post from a well known breaker of NDAs, Emily Rogers. The general tone of the post was effectively that Pokemon Go might be an influencing factor on the next Pokemon games - potentially also including some sort of new accessory that we can only assume would effectively be a next generation PokeWalker, given the context. Ultimately, it's a bit like saying the sun will come up tomorrow, but it was enough to set tongues wagging.


    Coincidentally, that very same day, a logo popped up on 4Chan purporting to be for the new Switch games and calling itself Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu. The logo itself doesn't have anything to it that really demonstrates it as being legit to be honest. Apart from the fact it looks like it's been drawn in felt tip, the quality and angle of the photo of it are more likely hallmarks of being a classic fake.

    That didn't stop the internet taking Emily Rogers statements along with this logo and putting 2 and 2 together to get whatever they wanted, though.

    If this were all there were to this story, this is rightfully where it would end. And it certainly wouldn't have been posted here. However, the rabbit hole continues and - as it stands - the pieces are starting to come together to indicate that, actually, there might be something to this one.


    The next twist in the tale came, again, from anonymous posting on 4Chan. While it's fairly common for people to post such 'leaks' of game details - particularly Nintendo and Pokemon ones - as a troll, the reason this one stuck out was down to it not only aligning with Rogers comments and the logo - but because it's not actually the first time we've heard such rumours about the Pokemon Switch game.

    Eurogamer's Tom Phillips commented today that his sources - who previously informed him about Pokemon Stars, a project we're all fairly confident was in fact at one point, a thing - had told him previously that the game would be a 'sort-of-remake of Pokemon Yellow' and based in Kanto. Those details - that the game would be set in Kanto and would be a kind of 'reboot' for the series - have come up before in previous comments from leakers with a track record for being proven right when it comes to Pokemon info. At this point, that's enough smoke towards that particular detail to actually start putting some money behind it.

    Which all kinda made this particular image - originally uploaded on the 31st March this year (yes, just in time for the 1st April) - end up coming back to mind.


    It's a classic fake screenshot that anyone who's been in this game long enough to have seen dozens of them would instantly dismiss. It's an off-screen photograph, taken on a potato, that's conveniently blurry enough that it could effectively mask the fact it's just a modified version of Sun/Moon running on a 3DS emulator. At least, that's what we all took it to be at the time.

    But now we can start tallying up some things that we've seen and heard multiple times from multiple sources:
    • The game would be at least influenced by Pokemon Go - something we can see in the screenshot above in terms of the Pokemon being visible out on the map, not unlike Pokemon Go. As well as the purported name of the games.
    • The games would star Pikachu and Eevee, and being somewhat based off of Yellow, would include those Pokemon following you around. In the shot above, we see Eevee riding on the player's hat - coincidentally in exactly the way Pikachu does in the anime.
    • The games would be set in Kanto - and the image above sure does look like it'd pass for an upgraded version of Kanto's Route 21.
    It's certainly a lot of separate pieces of data that would seem to pull together in such a way that, much like a magic eye picture, if you squint you can just about make out the complete picture.

    But, it's worth keeping in mind that even up to this point, all of this information is effectively still worthless. Rogers' post may provide context to make some sense of the rest of the purported data, but it's not really of any value on its own. The logo, the quote dump and the screenshot all come from anonymous sources and none of it represents anything that could be particularly impossible to throw together as a hoax.

    But, things developed further when the company that generally represents Nintendo in domain name purchases bought the domains pokemonletsgopikachu.com and pokemonletsgoeevee.com. As well as letsgopikachuletsgoevee.com. The same company registered the Sun and Moon domains immediately before their announcement too, as well as controlling Nintendo.com.

    It's not enough to immediately indicate any validity to the names - brand protection is literally this company's job, so even if these games weren't legit, buying these domain names so no-one else can is a move that only makes sense now that they've blown up across the Internet. But, it does help nudge things a little further down the road.

    Ultimately, until an actual announcement - or at least until the official trademarks with logos are filed - it's utterly impossible to say whether or not there's any truth behind this entire thing. After all, the Internet was once thoroughly convinced that this was the long-fabled Nintendo NX (what would become the Switch) thanks to some incredibly thorough hoaxery. It wouldn't be unlikely we'd all get hoodwinked again.

    That said, I'm personally at the point where too many things are pointing towards it being at least somewhat real. It certainly makes a lot of sense out of the brand work that's been going on in Japan lately to promote Eevee as a franchise star character. It might also give new context to Junichi Masuda's Pokemon Day message this year, where he shows up holding a plush Pikachu and Eevee:

    If we take anything away from this round of rumours, it would be that it would seem that the next Pokemon games will be very different games from what we would otherwise have expected. By taking up the same game engine as Sun/Moon - or to put it another way, effectively rebuilding atop of the cancelled Stars - we can assume a certain familiarity with the basics of the game. It would seem to be a fairly likely bet that the game will be set in Kanto, and that you would either have Pikachu or Eevee as a partner with you in the game. And, much like in Pokemon Yellow, those Pokemon would follow you throughout the game in the game world.

    Taking inspiration from Pokemon Go, we would also see more Pokemon out in the game world itself. Potentially removing the classic style of random battles and instead allowing you to seek them out directly. Perhaps the capture mechanic of the game would also change somewhat, but it seems fairly unlikely it'd actually follow Pokemon Go's entire setup there.

    It would certainly seem that, by having the base of the game functionally complete - and by setting the game in a region that is at least developed enough to have an easy bedrock to build upon (hopefully with plenty of new changes and ideas) - it opens up the door to reinvent large parts of the rest of the game. Perhaps that's what we will still see, regardless of how truthful most of the above details are.

    Either way, it's very unlikely we'll have to go much longer to wait to find out the truth. Once we have some real information we'll bring it your way, so stay tuned.


Discussion in 'Pokécharms News' started by Doctor Oak, May 16, 2018.

    1. FrostCrispz
      Wow... How long did that take?
      5DigitNeb and Stargrounds like this.
    2. Keleri
      Interesting! Always fun to see the rumor machine kick into gear, and the best lies are the ones based on the truth. I lived through a lot of World of Warcraft """"leaks"""" and rumors and the fake ones always included fan-favorite ideas; in this case, my eye is on the idea that following pokemon will return in that 4chan post. Don't get me wrong, I will get tasered by canadian police to get following pokemon back, but I try to temper my expectations.

      If there's anything I'd like to see the main series games take from Go, it's definitely the overworld pokemon (although ideally they'd be doing something naturalistic and not just chilling at Starbucks) and small buddy pokemon perched on the trainer's shoulder. The idea of a non-optional pokeball throwing mechanic makes me ill though.
    3. vaultie
      i feel like it's also worth mentioning that today, the domains "www.pokemonletsgopikachu.com" "www.pokemonletsgoeevee.com" and "www.letsgopikachuletsgoeevee.com" were all registered by CSC Corporate Domains, the same company that registered the official Sun/Moon website before the reveal

      this could just be a way for damage control, or they could be taking the domains earlier than expected as to avoid anyone else spreading misinformation for if the games are actually real. we probably won't get an announcement until e3 anyways.

      as for me, i personally thought all this was fake, but all the newer merch lines, the upcoming movie, and the picture of masuda posted all shows pikachu and eevee being marketed as a "pair", so i'm a bit more inclined to believe the rumors. i'm not a huge fan of kanto, but i'll take what i can get.
    4. GalacticDeg
      I'm fine with this if they scrap the Pokemon GO rubbish. I hate that game so much that if they try to bring it back from the dead, well.... I'll be face-palming myself for years to come.
      Sebastian Hawk and 5DigitNeb like this.
    5. Stargrounds
    6. Doctor Oak
      Doctor Oak
      That's probably why I did.
      5DigitNeb likes this.
    7. vaultie
      whoops, my bad for missing that part! i read this almost first thing after waking up, so i was probably pretty groggy and skimming over a lot of words, sorry.

      either way, im already brainstorming kanto teams. hopefully these games- if real- end up being sequels like b2w2 and not direct remakes.
      5DigitNeb and Merciless Medic like this.
    8. LittleGreenBean
      Pretty cool article.
      However, I'm really starting to fall out of Pokemon as of late. The most recent game I've played is Alpha Sapphire, and I still haven't gotten around to playing Moon. I still enjoy RPing it and playing older games, and I hope to play it sometime this Summer.
      5DigitNeb and Stargrounds like this.
    9. Swirled
      I N T E R E S T I N G.
      too bad I lack teh switch
      5DigitNeb likes this.
    10. Psycho Monkey
      Psycho Monkey
      I've been a proponent of returning to Kanto for a long time. It was the first region we experienced on the handhelds so it only makes sense that it would be our first region on a home console. And even if we didn't return to Kanto and we got something brand new, I would be fine with that too. But I am not ok with this. The leaks we've gotten this week just bothers the hell out of me on a primal level. Starting with Pikachu in Yellow was fine since it was an homage to the anime as well as something to tie people over until Gold and Silver were finished. But starting with Pikachu all but guarantees the little bugger staying that way and I don't want that again. I want to catch one in Viridian Forest or where ever and be able to evolve it into Raichu. Same with Eevee. Starting with it just feels wrong somehow. I want to be able to receive or catch one samewhere in the game even if it's as early as Route 1. I want Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle as my choices for starter. Having those three as my options feels more natural to me somehow.

      My hope right now is that this is just the rumor mill on fire and GF will give us something concrete to douse the flames. If what we get is exactly what we've gotten in these leaks then I'll take the news in stride and make a decision once we get more information on the games as they get closer to release. If we're given something entirely new and these leaks were nothing more than a bunch of bored trolls trying to whip people into a frenzy (and boy did they succeed) then I will be elated to see the record set straight. But I also don't want the same rehash of "Blazing Fire Red and Vibrant Leaf Green". I want a brand new adventure set in a familiar land. But in any case, I'm going to continue what I've been doing the last few months and that is ignore everything Pokemon Switch related unless GF themselves post it.
    11. What Did You Do To Snoke?
      What Did You Do To Snoke?
      I feel like the skepticism in this post is one that a bunch of people still have. A lot of poketubers are convinced it is real. It is 99% real-Masuda's image, the clues adding up, the domain names being copyrighted as soon as people found out about it. There's one other thing you should know. Some of the most skeptic poketubers and people in the pokemon community believe in it: Joe Merrick, PDWinnall, Pokesirena and Verlisify. Ruffledrowlit provided an EXTREME case. I recommend watching all of his rumour videos to see the Pixelpar hints-this man posted clues early on twitter and it all adds up! If Serebii has posted the rumours on their website then it MUST be true. Listen here! Serebii is a extremely sceptical and never posts UNLESS it's basically confirmed. It has never done this kind of thing before! Both Joe Merrick of Serebii and Pokesirena (the one who helped confirm the Chinese leaks regarding SuMo and USUM), both give their approval. They know Japanese people who can translate the image and they both know people who worked for GF and/or Nintendo! Something tells me they knew all along!

      General reactions to these games are very negative and toxic generally what i'm finding in the comments sections of YouTube: 'oh we've already been to Kanto 100s of times Sinnoh needs a remake.' This is not a full remake. It's a retelling/reboot. It should be interesting. Do not judge until YOU personally have the game and have played through ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of it!
    12. Doctor Oak
      Doctor Oak
      Joe is of exactly the same view as I am about these 'leaks' and knows no more than I do either (as far as I'm aware). We've both posted about these because there's enough smoke to force us to have to address it in some way, but there's a solid chance it's all just leading us along on a merry chase as well.

      Nothing is ever confirmed until it's confirmed. If/when it IS confirmed, we will be here to tell you. Being skeptical and realistic about this stuff is our responsibility in our role in the community and the idiots on Youtube that take any random thing uploaded to the Internet and run off to tell people it's 100% the real truth ignore any such responsibility and give rise to comments like yours.
    13. 5DigitNeb
      The games are being released in November, may even be the 21st. Check back on this when the release date is revealed.
    14. BurbleBurble
      I won't be surprised if this does or doesn't happen.

      But i'm less worried about returning to Kanto as much as I am about Pokemon Go mechanics. It's a hard pass if I have to play pure RNG to catch Pokemon as opposed to RNG I can control to a degree.
      5DigitNeb likes this.
    15. Aura
      @Scarlet Rose I'm fairly sure there'll be riots in the streets if they don't so...
    16. What Did You Do To Snoke?
      What Did You Do To Snoke?
      The thing is, it HAS basically been confirmed. The hints from Masuda are strong evidence and the brand name taking indicate that they would rush in to get the name. It is a bit fishy otherwise. It could be an elliborate hoax, but that would require a number of people to keep their mouths shut about it. Potentially Pixelpar and Emily Rodgers could be working together, even the same person and Rodgers' predictions have been very general. She did say that there would be a smash bros game for the switch coming out in 2018 and that was months before the announcement, plus her NX/prototype Switch predictions NOONE believed at the time.
      Looking at what you've said about these 'idiots' on YouTube, the majority of Poketubers who have rushed in to make these videos do say at the start 'take this with a pinch of salt' at the very least. The thing is, going around and saying that these people are idiots is one of the things that makes the Pokémon community toxic. People should be able to talk freely on the internet about rumours even if they are 100% confirmed fake. Fake 'leak' discussions are good in my opinion, because they get the community talking. Talking about what they want and don't want in the next Pokémon game. Yes it is wish-listing often and it does get unrealistic expectations of the next game, but we have a right to give our opinions! Maybe GF will listen to us, I mean, they've given us a bit more of what we've wanted recently compared to the last 10 years. Going back to the youtubers thing as well, these people do make a living just from YouTube. It would be wrong to say 'let's put you on the streets.' A lot of adults HATE YouTube and agree with the adpocalypse and demonitisation spree. I will say more later.
      Stargrounds likes this.
    17. Doctor Oak
      Doctor Oak
      I too read some tweets on the Internet.

      I reckon the week is right - but the date is wrong. The 21st is a Wednesday, while the games would most likely launch on a Friday. The end of November is certainly the most likely release date, should the games definitely make it out this year, though.
      Stargrounds and 5DigitNeb like this.
    18. Bluetail
      *Sits down with a eevee on my lap."If this gets confirmed as true,i'm gonna be waltzing into walmart jotting down the prices for pokemon let's go eevee and the switch.
      Hollow Omega and 5DigitNeb like this.
    19. Hollow Omega
      Hollow Omega
      Sounds interesting, really excited for the idea of Yellow. Looks like I'll have to re-download Pokémon Go as well, now there's hoping that Pokéballs are easier to come by in this than Go. :\=|:
      5DigitNeb and Merciless Medic like this.
    20. FrostCrispz
      I have been looking over some videos and leaks on pokemon for switch, and I think the most realilistic one is a video by RuffledRowlet on Youtube called something like best leak for switch or something. It seems realistic, and talks about pokemon go being something like from pokemon revolution with diamond/pearl, but smaller. The other stuff is about graphic changes, and some details about version exclusive featres.
    21. What Did You Do To Snoke?
      What Did You Do To Snoke?
      I feel as if a bunch of people have gone out to make fake rumours once they heard of the titles, so I would be more sceptical about the youtube videos that depict that is being true-those reddit and 4chan rumours that say it's dramatically going to be different. I mean, we already know it is but...

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