#GameFreakLied Trends on Twitter: 'Pokémon Sword and Shield' Data Leak Suggests Reused Models

With Pokémon Sword and Shield releasing in just a few days, a new wave of Twitter animosity has hit the shores of Galar. #GameFreakLied has been spreading like wildfire on the social media platform, trending number one worldwide with over 40,000 tweets decrying the latest Pokémon title and what fans perceive to be deception from its developer. So what exactly did Game Freak lie about and why are some fans so agitated?

pokemon sword and shield reddit leak datamine
Assets for Bulbasaur for Sword/Shield (left) and Sun/Moon (right) reddit via MindWeb125

#GameFreakLied Explained

In June of 2019, Game Freak's Junichi Masuda and Shigeru Ohmori said in an interview with Famitsu that Pokémon Sword and Shield would not be reusing assets from previous titles for this iteration of the monster collecting series, causing the previously established Pokémon Bank features to not work as intended. This meant many hopeful trainers wouldn't be able to use monsters that had been part of their party for decades. This fact alone gave rise to the "dexit" boycott, and now it appears the developer's rationale for the controversial decision may not be entirely true. The game itself isn't out until Friday but a data leak of all the in-game assets and models has already surfaced online, giving eager fans a chance to dig through the code.

How Some Fans Are Coping With Culled Pokémon

After digging through the models for Sword and Shield, some vocal fans claim to have found proof that the assets for the monsters were actually reused from previous games like Sun and Moon. Members of the Pokémon subreddit have looked at the wire framing of some of the newer and older models which seem to be the same for both old and new versions. The polygonal triangle count, or the wireframe mesh that makes up these beasts, is nearly identical for each model.

I've been going through the returning Pokemon models in SwSh and comparing them to the ones from SuMo, and so far every model I've checked has (unsurprisingly) been 100% identical. pic.twitter.com/ehyytH0QQY

— Blazingflare (@Blazingflare) November 13, 2019

Data miners have found a few inconsistencies with that theory, showing minor changes to Arcanine, Machamp and Noibat. Still, it does seem to fans who are already outraged about the game's lackluster textures and reused animations, that this is a blatant breach of trust from GameFreak.

On Tuesday night, reddit user BigHailFan "proposed a hashtag" to get the wider community to notice this issue. Over the next 12 hours, the GameFreakLied hashtag would spread like wildfire and trend around the globe. The Pokémon sub is full of people discussing the hasthtag's success and expressing their anger over Game Freak's decisions for their title. This new hashtag arrives less than a week after #ThankYouGameFreak trended on Twitter in response to all the hate the company was receving from fans for problems like these.

hello #GameFreakLied! if you're not sure what they lied about, have a look right here! pic.twitter.com/pLTIHAofsD

— extendedfreezer (@extendedfreezer) November 13, 2019

Pokémon fans can tend to be some of the most fanatical because the franchise is strongly tied to nostalgia. Playing every game in a franchise for over a decade creates a bond with the virtual monster battler. Other movements like "Dexit" inspired by the removal of over half the species of Pokémon from Sword and Shield, show just how much fans care about the franchise. Lashing out at a company that's forced to turn over a new entry every year and endure crunch might feel good at first, but it solves very little in the long term.

It's unlikely that #GameFreakLied will impact the sales of Sword and Shield at all. The game is already a top seller on Amazon and the the game's largely young fan base will still buy it.