We’ve been reporting from the frontline for over a decade and as expected are no strangers to leaks. In the past, they were mostly due to human errors on behalf of the official websites. Sometimes information is directly leaked to websites or forums —rumour has it that it’s part of TPCi’s (The Pokémon Company) secret marketing agenda. More often they’re due to people that break the contract imposed embargo and therefore are subject to legal charges.
In the latter case, we have to assess the gravity of the situation. If a few of pages from the latest CoroCoro leak a couple of days earlier, while it’s still illegal, one might assume that’s not that big a deal to reproduce since the deviation from TPCi’s marketing schedule is little.
However in the case some insider, reviewer or retailer leaks a large amount of photos and information a week or more prior to the games’ launch day, we’re against something very problematic for the company that creates and manages the franchise we like to talk about. It is therefore both unethical and legally troublesome, as the “Cease & Desist” notices of the recent past have made clear.
It appears that these leaks of late, originate from a copy sold early from a retailer. Real people’s jobs are at stake; there is no doubt that some will get fired or fined.
In the end of the day, the end user is not affected directly by this, but it imposes major obstacles in the trust shown from TPCi towards both fansites and the established media. The press in some countries will get no review copies due to previous years’ leaks. Players will be served with isolated details and there will be no proper critique and information prior to the release.
It’s not a case of grassroots journalism and transparency as some would like to think. We don’t condone actions that put the end users’ right to information and the Pokémon fandom at risk.