According to a report by Polygon, the defendants are required to pay The Pokémon Company US$150,000 in damages each for leaking photographs from the then-unreleased game’s strategy guide, which had been posted in a Discord chat in early November 2019. The images reportedly included new features such as Gigantamax forms of certain Pokémon.
In its initial lawsuit, The Pokémon Company alleged that one of the defendants had taken photographs while employed by a company that had been printing the guides. The first defendant then sent the images to the second defendant, who subsequently shared them with a “worldwide audience”.
At the time of the leak, The Pokémon Company had hired an independent firm specialising in online “forensics” in order to find the defendants on online platforms such as Discord, Reddit and 4chan, according to Kotaku. The video game company also said that it had “reacted swiftly” to the leaks, and issued numerous takedown requests.
Pokémon Sword And Shield was officially released on November 15, 2019 for the Nintendo Switch. Last year, the developer released two expansion packs for the game, The Isle Of Armor in June and The Crown Tundra in October, both of which added new areas and reintroduced older Pokémon.
Earlier this year, a 23-year-old man was arrested in Japan for hacking and selling save data from Pokémon Sword And Shield. The man sold a Sobble, which he had modified the details of with a PC, to a 36-year-old man in Kyoto for £30. It is believed that the man had earned around £7,950 performing this service for people since November 2020.
In other news, Pokémon GO developer Niantic has detailed its roadmap to return the augmented reality mobile game to pre-COVID gameplay. The popular mobile game will introduce new exploration bonuses that encourage going outdoors, alongside the removal of bonuses introduced during lockdown last year, starting in the US and New Zealand.