Pokemon Scarlet and Violet leaks, and why I chose not to cover them

Nintendo /

To say that Pokemon Scarlet and Violet has had some issues with minor leaks lately is like saying the Banqiao Dam had some “minor leaks.” No longer was it just some weird suspicious Twitter accounts hinting at things in the game with blurry images that I fully believe were a marketing ploy. This is people who have acquired the games early “somehow” (Gamestop, don’t even front, I know you’ve had copies in the back for a week) and have streamed the entire game online.

The Pokedex has been completed. Every new Pokemon has been shown off. Even all the shinies have been shown off for all the new Pokemon. Every feature, story point, and secret. It’s all out there.

Nintendo Switch - Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet
Nintendo /

And yet, here I am, arguably AppTrigger’s biggest Pokemon dork, and if you check my profile you’ll see I covered NONE of it. Why is that?

Because leaks suck. That’s the short answer. If you want the long answer keep going.

A little ways back, a trailer for Pokemon Scarlet and Violet showed  off the adorable new ghost pup, Greavard. Up until that point I have sat with my kids and showed them every single trailer the Pokemon Company has dropped going all the way back to that really weird one with the security guard digging through a room of artifacts. My kids, 7 and 9, were completely hooked.

But I didn’t show them Greavard’s. I stopped. In my head, I realized I could either show them a video that shows off this dog OR I could have a moment in the game where my kids see a candle in the ground and, upon approach, have an adorable ghost pup pop out at them and surprise them.

Later, I was talking about the leaks and my kids overheard me. I didn’t talk about any of the new game mechanics or revealed Pokemon or things like that, I was just talking about the extent of the leaks. My 9-year-old went, “Why would people ruin the game like that?” And he’s right.

Sure, there are a lot of people that take Pokemon games and turn them into a chore, just tearing through the game and trying to get strong Pokemon so they can participate in the online meta that will use this information to get a small jump start.

But then there are a lot of people like me, like my family, like many of my friends, who are really excited to discover the world firsthand. It’s something I loved in Legends Arceus, just running around and trying to actually solve the puzzles and mysteries myself.

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And while I know the common response is, “if you don’t want spoilers don’t look for them”. The response is, simply, “you damn well know the internet doesn’t work like that”. If I look up even the most official of Pokemon videos there’s still a chance the suggested links at the end will be thumbnails of some greasy guy in his 20’s making a surprised face over a screenshot of a new Pokemon. It’s just the internet.

Hell, because I’ve been in the gaming world for over two decades at this point Twitter knows me enough that it thinks I want posts containing images showing new images and screenshots. Or headlines telling me the names of new ones. Hell, even older sites like Kotaku who try to not put the names or images in the header images and headlines absolutely drop the ball by still describing them in full detail so that if it shows up on my phone as a suggested news article I pretty much get the idea. “People are disappointed that (X)’s evolution looks like a (Y)”. Thanks, I got it now, minus one surprise.

So yeah, that’s it. That’s why I don’t cover the leaks. I’ve been asked about it a bunch. People on Twitter (and now Cohost which I’m growing quite fond of) have messaged me telling me they’re surprised I haven’t talked about it and…well…this is why. Maybe you’re the kind of person that needs THIS in your news feed. Just the knowledge that you can follow someone who makes Pokemon news without ruining your story experience.

Pokemon's reveal of Iono, the new Electric Gym Leader, is both obnoxious and promising
Nintendo /

Am I saying follow me and make me your primary source for Pokemon news? I would never (yes, do it). But I’m saying you should know that that kind of journalism exists. Anyways, see you Friday when the game actually comes out and we can talk about it. See you then!