A lawsuit filed by The Pokémon Company in 2019 regarding Pokémon Sword and Shield leaks has now been settled, with the defendants having to pay the organization $150,000 dollars each in damages and fees. Images from a strategy guide were published and shared online before the release of the games, Polygon reports.
Initially, the lawsuit was prompted by some photos being uploaded to Discord, from where they spread to a worldwide audience. In December last year, a Seattle judge issued a subpoena compelling Discord, 4chan, Reddit and some other online platforms relating to the case to divulge personally identifiable information that would help pinpoint the source of the leaked images.
Through this process, it was discovered one of the defendants had taken the photos while working for LSC Communications, the company in charge of printing the strategy guide. After being shown these images, the second defendant then shared them on Discord. The photos revealed unannounced features, such as certain Pokémon having Gigantamax forms.
There’s been a complicated legal history for Pokémon Sword and Shield, including a Portuguese website being blacklisted for a freelancer sharing details from an early game copy, a beta copy of the game itself being leaked, and a man being charged back in February of this year for hacking, altering and selling save data, such as a modified Sobble he sold for £30! It’s taken two years, but this chapter has at least now come to a close.
Pokémon Sword and Shield are available on Nintendo Switch.