Weeks before Pokémon Sword & Shield released, a bunch of information started to come out on the internet via leaks. People who managed to get the games early leaked various things, such as gyms, Pokémon evolutions, gameplay, and much more. Now, it seems that The Pokémon Company has decided to crack down on those who leaked the game and has started searching for those particular people.
Initially reported by Forbes, lawyers representing The Pokémon Company claimed that the leakers "disrupted [The Pokémon Company's] ability to market Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield and the Strategy Guide," claiming that the leaked information allegedly reduced fan engagement and interest. In other words, when leaked information was posted online, people were not happy to find out some of the gameplay changes, thus choosing not to purchase Pokémon Sword & Shield.
For now, four Discord accounts have been identified that have something to do with the leaked information, although the individuals behind the Discord accounts have not been named yet. According to the obtained information, one of the accounts is responsible as the primary source of the leaks, while the other three are responsible for posting the leaks online. While The Pokémon Company is working on finding out more information, it has requested Discord's (and even 4Chan since some of the leaks were also posted there) help, according to the lawsuit.
The Pokémon Company's actions have surprised a lot of people, mainly because of how well the latest Pokémon games performed. Simply put, why would The Pokémon Company go after some of the leakers and punish them when Pokémon Sword & Shield did really well in terms of sales? Whatever the reasoning might be behind the lawsuit, it's clear that The Pokémon Company wants to send a message to everyone else regarding future games.
This isn't the first time a company went after a leaker. Earlier in November, Sony fined a Russian electronic store $15,000 because one of the employees managed to get an early copy of Death Stranding before the game officially released. The end result of that particular incident was the employee getting fired and all copies of the game getting locked in safes before release.