Here’s Why Pissbaby Pokémon Fans Are Boycotting ‘Sword And Shield’


Pokémon Sword & Shield #GameFreakLied controversy explained

Pokémon Sword and Shield is out today, and while critics are calling the Switch game one of Pokémon’s best in years, die-hard fans are drowning out the positive press, as gripes over the game’s design have snowballed into a social media movement.

Within the series’ fanbase, Sword and Shield have caused ire long before their release after it was revealed that it wouldn’t be possible to collect ’em all. It was a first for the series, which has previously allowed you to import old generations and collate your collection across games.

Back in July, fans began a #BringBackNationalDex and #Dexit campaign, promising to boycott the game unless they could put all their Pokémon into Sword and Shield. Game Freak, the game’s developer, ended up apologising for not including all 809 previous Pokémon, but that they ultimately had to make the tough decision in order to push the series into new directions, given technical restrictions.

Resentment simmered, but came back within the last week after a Reddit user kicked off #GameFreakLied. The user posted ‘wireframes’ of the Pokémon in Sword & Shield which were the same as those in previous games. And since Game Freak had previously said that they couldn’t bring back old Pokémon because they were creating models “from scratch”, it appeared they were dirty cheating liars.

The hashtag took off, with many expressing a deep disappointment at the game’s graphics and animations, or insinuating Nintendo bought off positive reviews.

In reaction to the inevitable backlash to the backlash (the whole thing is extremely ‘Kim there are people dying‘), fans are establishing that “criticism is not toxicity”, and that they have a right to be disappointed by a company lying to them to make money. In a sense, you could say it’s actually about ethics in video game creation. They’re also posting incredibly detailed lists of why they feel betrayed.

There’s a slight problem with the boycott: as Polygon point out, Game Freak never actually said they’d remake models from scratch. The whole thing’s a mis-translation/mis-information double-whammy that’s been repeated endlessly.

While many of the gripes about the game’s graphics/animations or lack of all Pokémon are fair game, it’s not exactly write to say Game Freak lied — especially when, as Polygon point out, that original Reddit post has no proof its actually grabbed these Pokémon frames from the game.

Still, the war wages on, with others claiming that the original Pokémon are in the coding for the game, but Game Freak couldn’t be bothered to do the full work. “THIS IS THE SCUMMIEST THING I HAVE EVER SEEN AND THE SAD THING IS PEOPLE WILL TRY TO DEFEND IT”, writes user @tarakOna, who has not seen many things.

Pokemon Sword and Shield is out now on Nintendo Switch.