A recent contest to design a Pokemon themed shirt has drawn some controversy, but has still resulted in likely confirmation that character customization will be in Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield.
Back in October 2018, clothing retailer Uniqlo hosted a competition to design a t-shirt themed around Pokemon. As well as top-winners having their designs sold in the company’s Spring/Summer 2019 collection, the grand prize included $10,000 (USD), a special trophy, an invitation to an award ceremony in Tokyo and an invitation to the 2019 Pokemon World Championships.
On May 20th the contest winner was revealed. Li Wen Pei of China designed a Gyarados and Magikarp inspired shirt, which you can view below:
To top it off, the Japanese Uniqlo website has revealed the shirt has been added to Pokemon Sword & Shield as custom clothing for the main character. You can find the associated images below (with the clearer images via Serebii).
Character customization was introduced in Pokemon X & Y, and continued in Pokemon Sun & Moon. We are fairly confident this means character customization will be returning to Pokemon Sword & Shield as well!
The story has developed beyond this however. Fans from China began to make reports (leading to a story on GNN Gamer)that the design was allegedly already being sold on a shirt- something that would violate the contest’s terms and conditions.
Wen Pei issued a statement to Chinese social media Weibo (you can find an image of his statement via the GNN Gamer link above). He stated that he had sold smart phone cases with the same design. However he did not sell the design on a shirt, and those selling his design on a shirt had used his work without permission.
This would still put him in violation of the rules, as the work had to be wholly original and never published before (most likely to prevent any false and genuine claims of designs being stolen or plagiarized).
The original post is now gone, and Wen Pei posted he has explained the situation to Uniqlo.
This is not the only Pokemon themed contest right now. Japanese fans have been asked to write in to name “the strongest Steel-Type move“.
In other news, the next issue of Japanese magazine “Corocoro Ichiban” will contain more info on Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield. The magazine releases June 21st. We will keep you updated as we learn more.
Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield will launch 2019 for Nintendo Switch.