As retail copies appear in the wild and on eBay.
Nintendo is struggling to scrub gameplay and story spoilers for Pokémon Legends: Arceus from social media, with major story elements now out in the wild.
(Eurogamer has chosen not to include any spoilers in this article.)
Today, some images appear to have been removed due to copyright claims – but many more are still visible. Fans hoping to go into Pokémon Legends: Arceus unspoiled should now be extremely careful where they click – particularly on places such as Twitter and reddit.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus is not due for release on Nintendo Switch until next Friday, 28th January, though photographs of several people holding boxed copies of the game have been posted online over the last 24 hours.
At least some of these copies are being played, too – resulting in screenshots and gameplay footage spilling out. Details Eurogamer has seen include story elements concerning the game’s setting, mission structure and Pokédex.
Separately, a cache of apparent boxed copies has sold on eBay. 15 users paid $75 each for the privilege of an early copy with overnight shipping from a seller based in New Jersey.
So far, these leaks all appear to have come from boxed copies of the game destined for bricks-and-mortar shops. There’s no evidence that digital copies sent out to reviewers are being used to leak the game – as has happened in the past.
Anyone with an early copy should take note – Nintendo and The Pokémon Company take a very dim view of Pokémon leaks, though that does not stop every major Pokémon release reliably being spoiled prior to launch.
In June last year, The Pokémon Company settled with a pair of Pokémon Sword and Shield leakers who were forced to pay $150k in damages each for revealing details from an unreleased strategy guide. In 2020, Nintendo publicly fingered a Portuguese reviewer for posting images from their review copy of the same game.
Last week, Nintendo released an extended gameplay trailer for Pokémon Legends: Arceus, which amounted to the most we’d seen of the game to date – despite its increasingly imminent launch. Legends: Arceus is expected to be a mash-up of Pokémon’s recent Switch entries with Monster Hunter, and it’s set in the ancient past of the Sinnoh region.