• Lewis Gillingwater

Leakers settle Pokémon Sword and Shield lawsuit for $150,000

Nintendo is notoriously takedown happy when it comes to copyright infringement, leaks and generally interrupting their own plans for their franchises. As further proof of that, The Pokémon Company have settled a lawsuit against two leakers who shared "illicit pictures from an unreleased strategy guide" and leaked the existence of Pokémon Sword and Shield in the process. The two defendants will have to pay $150,000 each in damages and fees.

The images, shared on Discord in 2019, quickly spread to gaming news sites, with the embargo on the game's reveal being broken by a Portuguese website which Nintendo and The Pokémon Company have since announced they will no longer work with.

One of the leakers worked for the strategy guide company and shared the images privately with the second, who posted them on Discord. Is this a reasonable punishment for breaking a non-disclosure agreement? Or is it perhaps a little excessive. Likely the huge fine is a means to dissuade anyone from leaking in the future but financially ruining two people who simply pre-empted Nintendo's own announcement by a matter of months is not a great look for a company keen to project a friendly image.