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Soapbox: Attacking Pokémon Creator Game Freak Isn’t Cool, But Biting Back Isn’t The Answer

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The negative press surrounding the upcoming Pokémon Sword and Shield shows no signs of slowing down, with rumours now floating around that morale at developer Game Freak is at an all-time low.

Earlier this week, WayPoint Radio’s Austin Walker (thanks, GoNintendo) made a claim that Game Freak employees were downhearted, but didn’t go into detail about why that might be. It’s easy to speculate, of course; the game – and its developer – have come under fire in recent months following the revelation that it won’t contain a complete Pokédex. Producer Junichi Masuda recently confirmed that the situation won’t be changing soon, either – and that future games will also lack the complete Pokédex.

Despite moves by fans to reassure the developer that they support them, it would seem that Walker’s comments could hold some weight. James Turner – art director for the game – recently ‘liked’ a tweet from a fan which attacked disappointed posters on Reddit. We’re not going to post the original tweet here as it contains foul language, but suffice to say, it’s not the best look for an employee of Game Freak.

Still, it’s a long way from Turner directly attacking disgruntled fans, and it’s easy to sympathise with him in this situation; a project he is clearly heavily invested in is being maligned by people who haven’t even played it yet. When you’ve put countless hours into a game, to see it attacked before it’s even in the hands of players must be intensely frustrating. We’ve all no doubt posted or done something we’ve regretted on social media, but when you’re in a senior position – like Turner is – you naturally have to consider your actions carefully, even if it is just something as innocuous as ‘liking’ a post which shows you support.

Given the volume of angry people we’ve had emailing in with this story today, it’s also important to remember that you can be held accountable for your actions on social media – and that the internet never forgets.

What do you make of Turner’s actions? Do you think that something as innocent as liking a post that supports the team is something he should be criticised for, or is it simply an understandable reaction given the way the game is being attacked online? Let us know with a comment below.

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