Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl aren’t out until next week, but the long-awaited remakes have already leaked owing to the retail copies being released early. This is nothing new for The Pokémon Company, which has been forced to deal with multiple leaks over the past few years. From the huge Pokémon Sword and Shield backlash to this new Diamond and Pearl leak, it’s safe to say the Pokémon series has a noticeable problem keeping information under wraps.
Reported over the weekend by VGC, a Reddit user posted that they’d gotten a North American copy of the upcoming Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. The post has since been removed, but pictures and videos of the games have been floating around on Twitter.
Leaks for Upcoming Pokémon Switch Games
The Gen 4 remakes were initially revealed back in February. However, just days before the official announcement, leaker Centro Pokemon said fans would soon get the “big news they’ve been waiting for”, along with pictures of Dialga and Palkia from Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. The leak turned out to be true, as Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl were unveiled shortly after.
In the same presentation back in February, Pokémon: Legends Arceus was also revealed. However, the morning of the presentation, the game leaked, with clips of the trailer floating around Twitter, along with descriptions of the game.
The Pokémon Sword and Shield Saga
Even further back, Pokémon games have had the tendency to leak, both leading up to their release and their announcements.
The most well-known example is 2019’s Pokémon Sword and Shield, which suffered from a handful of leaks leading up to release, followed by a lengthy legal pursuit. Months before release, a leak surfaced that ended up containing many true elements of the final games, including Team Yell, the rival’s names, regional evolutions, and more.
Then, the firestorm started in early November 2019, just before the games were set to come out. A list of Sword and Shield leaks detailed the Galar region Pokédex, Gigantamax forms, Galarian forms, and more. We already knew that select Pokémon from previous generations would not return to Sword and Shield, but these leaks further fueled the fire of the “Dexit” outrage and backlash on social media.
Shortly after release, lawyers for The Pokémon Company began searching for the Sword and Shield leakers. The lawyers said the leaks caused The Pokémon Company “irreparable injury” in their ability to market the game. Later on, The Pokémon Company began a lawsuit against the leakers. Finally, in February of 2020, Nintendo cut ties with a game publication after one if its reviewers leaked images of Sword and Shield. All said and done, the Sword and Shield incident was one of the biggest leaks of 2019.
More Switch and 3DS Pokémon Leaks
Even further back, Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee leaked just ahead of their official reveal at E3 2018, while 2016’s Pokémon Sun and Moon dealt with leaks leading up to launch, as the version exclusives surfaced just a week ahead of release.
As is usually the case, not all of the leaks have turned out to be true. Shortly after Sun and Moon’s release, it was rumored that Pokémon Stars would be coming to Nintendo Switch, a third version of the Alolan adventure. However, it turned out to be Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon on 3DS, as the first Pokémon game the Switch got was Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee. A trademark for Pokémon Delta Emerald also surfaced, but it also never came to be.
And now, potentially due to all of the repeated instances of leaked Pokémon games, Nintendo has become notorious for strict review copy distribution and complex embargo restrictions. Even with their best efforts to shut down the leaks, Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl have become another example of information becoming public before it was supposed to.
Fans are already reacting to the leaks, with some complaining about what they’ve seen so far, while others are poking fun at the idea of spoilers for a remake of a 15-year-old game. Still, it won’t be long until Pokémon fans can try the remakes out for themselves, as Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl launch next Friday,
While you wait for the official release, check out our Pokémon Brilliant Diamond preview, where we call the remakes the “old-school Pokémon games we’ve been missing.”
Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN. You can find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant.