The Internet is abuzz today with major Pokemon Switch rumors!
Let’s break down the sequence of events since the “news” seems to have spread all over the place.
Officially, the only thing we know about the Pokemon Switch titles is that they will release in “2018 or later.”
Emily Rogers, an inconsistent source of Nintendo leaks (more on that later), posted on her blog today that the Pokemon Switch games would take inspiration from the success of Pokemon GO. She said the two game titles might “raise eyebrows,” meaning she either knows the names of the games or she was told by her source that their names might raise eyebrows (meaning she doesn’t herself know their names).
Shortly after her post, an image started circulating on anonymous message boards with a logo of the alleged game: Pokemon Let’s Go! Pikachu. The source of the image is unknown. Its authenticity is unknown.
Despite Rogers involvement in this season’s Pokemon rumors, she suspiciously has not stated if this logo or game title are real. So it’s possible that 1) she leaked the image anonymously and won’t comment to avoid getting into legal trouble, or 2) the logo comes from someone else (whether genuine or fake) and she can’t confirm or deny the authenticity because she herself has limited, vague, or unreliable information.
After seeing the name of the game in light of Rogers’s “news,” fans did some Googling and found the game title matches a rumor posted on anonymous boards back in March. (Remember, because it’s an anonymous board, anyone can make up whatever they want.) According to the post, the Switch games would be named Let’s Go! and would be “Pokemon Yellow remakes for Switch” in both Pikachu and Eevee editions. The games would have Pokemon GO integration, catching Pokemon would work like in GO, and a new accessory could be used with both GO and these games. (It should be noted Masuda mentioned wanting to have GO integration in mainline Pokemon games when GO was first released.) The rumors also stated the characters of Red and Blue would be playing a role in the story, you and your rival are new Trainers, following Pokemon would return, Poke Rides from Alola would replace HMs, and the games would be released in 2018.
Wow, it seems all these rumors are supporting each other! That’s proof they’re real, isn’t it? Well, not quite.
People aren’t considering that the possibility that everyone is getting duped and each fake rumor and source could be building off each other. For example, Rogers’s source for the game titles might be the person who posted or saw the March rumor, then someone else came in and created a fake logo based on her post. This would then cause people to believe the original “source” is real, thus feedback-looping into a narrative in which everything supports each other but nothing is actually real. It wouldn’t be the first time.
I’m not saying for sure that the information isn’t real, but I think it’s best to analyze rumors like these if I’m going to acknowledge them on this site.
Today’s rumor train started because of a post Emily Rogers made on her blog. In the gaming community, Emily Rogers is seen as a rumormonger with a hit-or-miss track record (note that she’s an admin at this website, so the list heavily curates to her recent successes). She has definitely posted information that proves she sometimes has contact with reliable insider sources, especially as of late. Last year, she stated there would be an upcoming Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle game. It was announced a month later at E3.
However, she’s made countless incorrect claims over the years that prove she very often employs unreliable sources and sometimes even employs deceptive tactics to make herself sound more reliable. In researching her, I found that she’s deleted Tweets when she’s been wrong, at one point locking her Twitter account and erasing every Tweet she made before that point. She claimed Mother 3 would get an English release multiple times, but it never did. She’s claimed ports of Super Mario Maker and Xenoblade Chronicles X would launch with the Switch, which never happened, and that Mario Kart 8 Deluxe would have new tracks when it didn’t. Many of her claims leading up to the release of the Wii U were flat out wrong. In 2011, she knowingly faked screenshots of Pikmin 3 and Endless Ocean 3, showing that she’s capable of deceit (at least in the past — people do change, of course). Some of her claims have also been obvious predictions anyone could make, such as stating there would be an upcoming Smash game for the Switch. She also took credit for predicting Paper Mario: Color Splash a few days after a Japanese interview hinted at the news, showing that she often repackages official hints and posts them as her “rumors.”
Before today, the only Pokemon claims she’d made are that the Pokemon Switch games will come in 2018 and that they won’t “necessarily be Generation 8.” But anyone following Pokemon rumors this past year could have easily claimed that. Rumors about the games revisiting Kanto have been floating around for ages. So she does have valid sources at times, and some as of late, but she also has a clear track record of being flat-out wrong. It is obvious she deals with multiple sources — some fake and some real — but whether those sources have any real “ins” with Pokemon is unknown. She’s been around for many years, but she’s never reported on Pokemon rumors before.
When we leaked XY information back in 2013, I waited until some of the information was confirmed by official sources before posting the rest. That hasn’t happened in this case yet, so at this time it’s impossible for us to say whether this latest batch of rumors are valid or not.
Furthermore, I find it difficult to believe Nintendo has not threatened Rogers if she does in fact have reliable sources. For the XY leaks, the source that fed us the information was a friend of one of XY‘s playtesters. He was not the actual person leaking the confidential information and did not sign an NDA, so legally, he could leak whatever information he wanted without fear. However, that did not stop Nintendo from threatening him.
I’ve never shared this before, but the moment we posted our XY rumors, Nintendo actually paid our XY source a visit. They literally researched him (thanks to help from Bulbagarden), found his address, and several of them showed up to his college dorm and knocked on his door. They implied that if he did not tell them who his source was, they would take it up with his school. They also promised him they would not take action against his friend, but they of course fired and blacklisted him (as I’m sure any company would). So I find it difficult to believe Rogers has not been threatened by Nintendo at this point if she does indeed have genuine sources. Maybe her leaks haven’t been big or consistent enough to warrant their attention? Maybe Nintendo took the XY leaks more seriously because it was the first worldwide release for Pokemon and they needed to plug the leak and figure out how to more securely produce the games in the future?
No matter what, we will probably discover the truth in the coming weeks. Pokemon has stated the Switch game will release in “2018 or later,” so if it’s releasing in 2018, they will definitely start advertising it within the next month or so.
Speaking of which…
So let’s say the information is real. That there’s two remakes of Pokemon Yellow featuring Pikachu and Eevee on the horizon. Has Pokemon given us any clues that might support these rumors?
As posted here a while ago, each new Japanese TCG set has been covering a past Pokemon region. It started with the USUM block upon the release of the Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon games, which raised our suspicions back then.
- SM1 through SM4 featured Alola, since Sun and Moon were the new games for the TCG to promote. The usual.
- SM5 Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon, released December 2017, randomly featured Sinnoh (Gen IV). What?!
- SM6 Forbidden Light, released March 2018, featured Kalos (Gen VI). It was at that point we figured out each new set would be region-themed, and we were even able to predict this set would feature Kalos, which later turned out to be true.
- SM7 Charisma of the Wrecked Sky, June 2018, will feature Hoenn (Gen III). We were able to accurately predict this set would feature Hoenn based on Pokemon’s “Year of Legendary Pokemon” distributions.
- SM8 in the fall will very likely feature Unova (Gen V).
- That just leaves Johto for late 2018, then the set for early 2019 could feature Kanto Pokemon if the new games take place there.
The TCG has never done this before, so there must be a reason for it. Could it all be leading up to a Switch game in the Kanto region?
Pokemon has been promoting a Project Eevee Twitter account, and Eevee will also be featured heavily in the Lugia / Zeraora movie.
But maybe this is the biggest hint yet…
Right before Sun and Moon were announced, Junichi Masuda posted a daytime photo of the moon to his Twitter account. This was obviously his secret hint for the upcoming Sun and Moon announcement.
This photo could be interpreted as his hint for two Pokemon Yellow remakes. We see a Pikachu and Eevee plush with a Luigi-Pikachu plush behind them (representing Nintendo). But an even bigger hint…
Luigi’s trademark phrase is “Let’s go!”
If the rumors are true, and I’m not looking too much into this photo, this could be a big hint that the rumors are valid.
E3 is Coming!
E3 will be taking place from June 12th through 14th in Los Angeles. If Pokemon decides to have a presentation there, I will be in attendance, as I was when they revealed Skrelp, Clauncher, and other Pokemon and features for XY.
We should find out what’s going on with the franchise in the coming month, so stay tuned!