Following this past weekend’s online outpouring of support for Pokémon developer Game Freak via the #ThankYouGameFreak hashtag, a new hashtag directed at the company has since instead trended on Twitter: #GameFreakLied. This negative hashtag comes after people have discovered more information about the upcoming Sword and Shield through leaks and data mining.
The hashtag gained prominence after data miners claimed to have extracted exact 3D Pokémon models from Sword and Shield that appear almost identical to the 3D models from Sun and Moon. While this doesn’t appear to be a problem, many took issue with it because Game Freak said earlier this year that they wouldn’t reuse models from past games, meaning they would have to build new 3D models from scratch. This was an understandable reason then for not bringing over every past Pokémon species.
— Theukon-dos Vredzergimi (@APEX0010) November 13, 2019
Now that this appears to be a “lie” according to some, widespread anger has taken over in most Pokémon online spaces. #GameFreakLied includes other issues that will allegedly appear in Sword and Shield, such as the low number of past Pokémon species that will be transferrable into the games, side-by-side comparisons of Sword and Shield graphics with other major Switch titles to highlight the contrast, clips of reused and lower quality character animations, and more, which can be found outlined in this Reddit thread (spoiler warning, of course).
This ongoing negativity is no doubt affecting Game Freak, but has affected many fans across the Pokémon community as well, including many streamers and other Pokémon content creators.
I still plan to buy and play pokemon sword for review purposes.
But if you choose to boycott I hear and support you.
This has been a seriously rough start for pokemon on non mobile devices.
It’s ok to wait.#GameFreakLied
— Boogie Travels On Youtube! (@Boogie2988) November 13, 2019
The fact of the matter is none of us can control what happens to Pokemon. So maybe we should all stop being bitches to each other about it to cope with that fact. It doesn’t do anyone any good. Just tired of every innocuous tweet resulting in name calling and finger pointing.
— Tama (@TamashiiHiroka) November 12, 2019
Longtime “PokéTuber” and Twitch streamer Joshua Wittenkeller, also known as The JWittz, announced his decision to not stream the game at launch.
After thinking long and hard about it, I don’t think I’m going to stream Sword/Shield until AFTER I’ve beaten it casually.
I just want to chill while finishing YT projects
I’ll hop in from time to time while @RenaeIRL is streaming+shiny hunting starting tomorrow, though!
— Joshua Wittenkeller (@TheJWittz) November 13, 2019
Many online have announced their refusal to buy Sword and Shield, some even going so far as to cancel their preorders. It’s unclear if this will drastically affect Sword and Shield’s sales, but time will tell.
Neither Game Freak nor The Pokémon Company have responded to this new wave of backlash as of now.
Pokémon Sword and Shield launch on the Nintendo Switch this Friday, November 15.