Newspaper jumps the gun on Pokemon Sword and Shield article

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Pokemon Sword and Shield were revealed during last week’s Pokemon Direct livestream. Image from Game Freak

Pokemon Sword and Shield mark the beginning of the eighth Pokemon generation, but fans are equally excited for the subsequent release of Pokemon Gun- or they would be, if Pokemon Gun was a real game.

Twitter user @cin_ceja noticed an odd mistake when their local newspaper, La voz de Michoacan, released an article about Pokemon Sword and Shield after their reveal in last week’s Pokemon Direct livestream. The article’s graphic contains the logos for both games, as well as the three newly revealed starter Pokemon: Grookey, a Grass-type monkey with a playful and curious attitude, Scorbunny, a Fire-type rabbit that performs agile acrobatics, and Sobble, a Water-type lizard that can camouflage itself. However, what caught their eye was a fanmade logo for Pokemon Gun, which wasn’t announced by Game Freak during their presentation. This third logo wasn’t referenced in the article, meaning it was likely a layout issue rather than one by the author. Oddly enough, it would have been incredibly easy to find a real graphic. As a personal example, Electric Retrospective articles use images from press kits and official websites, which are both a quick Google search away.

The Pokemon Gun logo was actually a meme that poked fun at how Pokemon games often have a third, enhanced version. The joke is that, while Pokemon generations always begin with a set of two games featuring two opposing Legendary Pokemon on their covers, the enhanced version features a Legendary Pokemon related to the other two. Longtime fans humorously predict what the third version would be whenever a new generation is revealed, although it’s become more humorous due to recent Pokemon games not following this trend since the release of Pokemon Platinum ten years ago. Those who predicted Pokemon Black and White would be followed up by Pokemon Gray were shocked at the reveal of Pokemon Black 2 and White 2, but were further surprised when Pokemon X and Y, which could easily be followed up by Pokemon Z, never received an enhanced version. The only enhanced versions in recent memory, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, were two games rather than a singular third version (and debatably were more of side-grades than upgrades, as detailed in an Electric Retrospective article about them.)

This isn’t the first mistake that general news organizations have made in covering the games’ announcement. A CNN report on Sword and Shield received backlash for claiming the games were only released so Nintendo could capitalize on “adaptations of old favorites to breathe new life into its Switch gaming device.” Considering the Switch continues to sell like hotcakes and Pokemon is currently the highest-grossing series in the world, not to mention one that releases games almost every year, the article came off as misinformed even if the author didn’t mean to appear as such.

It’s amusing to see these simple mistakes, especially in a rather humorous case like that of Pokemon Gun, but on a serious note, these cases highlight the need for news organizations to fully research the topics they discuss. In a 24/7 news cycle, simple mistakes or uninformed comments tend to slip by, and while these cases are admittedly trivial, the consequences could be dire if mistakes like these occurred when reporting urgent news or topical issues.

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