Update: Added link to FNintendo’s statement.
Nintendo have announced they “will no longer work with” Portuguese gaming news website FNintendo, after they and The Pokemon Company implicated they were behind leaked information for Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield.
The statement from Nintendo (via Kitguru.net) states that FNintendo broke the confidentiality agreement by sharing photos from a review copy of the game. Due to this, Nintendo “will no longer work with FNintendo,” most likely meaning they will not send them press releases or review copies.
“In early November, Nintendo identified a number of photographs taken from game play that revealed multiple new and unannounced Pokémon from Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. These photographs had been posted online and Nintendo, together with The Pokémon Company, quickly identified the person responsible for these leaks, and took immediate action. These Pokémon were leaked by a reviewer for the Portuguese website FNintendo, who had received an early copy of the game for review purposes. Both he and FNintendo failed to handle confidential material, resulting in a clear breach of the confidentiality agreement between Nintendo and the media outlet. As a result, Nintendo will no longer work with FNintendo.”
FNintendo meanwhile, have offered their deepest apologies to their community. They also confirmed the 11 year deal between Nintendo and them was now void, and they they would “no longer receive products from Nintendo, nor will we be invited to attend their events.”
“To our readers,
At the beginning of November, a series of off-screen photographs leaked multiple new and unannounced Pokémon from Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. We want to take this opportunity to openly admit to our readers that FNintendo was responsible for leaking some of these photos.
Nintendo offered us a copy of the game for review purposes, with clear embargo guidelines, to which we agreed. This copy was then sent to one of our reviewers, who leaked the information. Following the investigation, FNintendo severed its relationship with this reviewer.
Our relationship with Nintendo Portugal dates back 11 years, but our part in this leak is a clear breach of the confidentiality agreement between us, and, as a result, a total breach of trust with Nintendo.
We recognise it is impermissible to break embargo guidelines and we failed to handle the review materials with sufficient care. We fully respect Nintendo’s decision to cancel the confidentiality agreement between our companies as a result of this breach of trust, and accept that we will no longer receive products from Nintendo, nor will we be invited to attend their events.
We want to apologise to Nintendo and The Pokémon Company, and to our readers for letting them down.
This matter seems to be separate to another incident, where four unnamed John and Jane Does leaked images from a then-unreleased strategy guide onto a Discord server (which subsequently spread across social media). Nintendo’s lawyers claimed that caused “irreparable injury” to the company.
Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield sold 1.36 million copies at retail in its first three days in Japan, six million copies worldwide after its first week, and 16.06 million units worldwide as of January 30th.
Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield are out now on Nintendo Switch. In case you missed it, you can find our review here.
Image: The Pokemon anime (via Bulbapedia).