Lawyers for the Pokémon game developer are chasing anonymous individuals in America who leaked Sword and Shield game information before its announcement, a new claim has revealed.
Pokémon Company International is particularly annoyed at people who forwarded pictures of formerly unseen Pokémon from the Sword and Shield strategy guide on 4Chan and Discord earlier this month. The pictures were also circulated on mainstream social media networks like Facebook, Imgur, and Twitter besides on popular video game sites Dot Esports and Polygon. Overall, the developer discovered 300 Web pages on “dozens of platforms that linked to websites containing the leaked Strategy Guide pictures,” as per the suit.
The Pokémon escapes started on November 1, when a picture of a new Pokémon, Gigantamax Machamp, emerged on Discord. (The Gigantamax editions of Pokémon are given additional power before a battle, a new feature in the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield games). Only 17 minutes later, the picture was shared on 4Chan. It was on Reddit ten minutes later. An additional 18 pictures appeared on Discord, a site that began as a gamers forum but has been misused by several criminal types, from hackers to child abusers.
Lawyers from Perkins Coie, a firm previously appointed by Google and other tech giants, wrote that the disclosures had caused “irreparable injury” to Pokémon and that the company “is titled to damages in an amount to be proven at trial.”
Pokémon Company International isn’t indicting any named individuals as yet, merely naming the defendants as “John/Jane Does” in its lawsuit, posted Friday. It has spotted four Discord users, though, after it appointed outside forensic experts to pursue the leakers. One is believed to be the person who provided the images to the other defendants, who posted or helped post the pictures online. However, as it hasn’t been able to recognize the people behind the names, Pokémon wants to serve subpoenas on 4chan and Discord to get their help in tracing down the leakers. It’s looking forward to the court’s decision.
It’s the second time in two months that a chief gaming company has gone to court to deal with a leak. In October, Fortnite developers sued an individual asserting he spilled secrets about its forthcoming Chapter 2 release.