Pokemon issues statement on Nuzlockes after controversial podcast
The Pokemon Company has released a statement saying it has no problem with a fan-favorite style of Pokemon gameplay following comments from former employees earlier this week. The Pokémon Company confirmed to Eurogamer that it has no objection to players running Nuzlocke on Pokémon games, stating that “The Pokémon Company International has no problem with fans or creators playing video games with Nuzlocke rules”. The comment apparently ends a confusing weekend of online discourse surrounding Pokemon games, influencers and the popular fan-made ruleset.
A Nuzlocke is a Pokémon game that adheres to specific arbitrary restrictions. Although there are several Nuzlocke variants in play, almost every Nuzlocke requires a player to release any Pokémon on their team that has fainted during a battle and limits which Pokémon they catch to the first Pokémon they encounter in a certain area. These limitations force players to be much more careful and deliberate with their actions, especially in early areas when they don’t have a deep pool of Pokémon to use. Nuzlocke races are popular among many influencers and Pokémon content creators, in part because it adds an extra layer of difficulty to a Pokémon game and often leads to dramatic twists when a beloved Pokémon passes out during battle.
Nuzlocke runs entered the weekend discourse thanks to the Kit and Krysta Podcast, hosted by former Nintendo Minute hosts Kit Ellis and Krysta Yang. The duo recounted a time when they proposed to Nintendo that they run a Nuzlocke for the Nintendo Minute, but were met with incredible resistance. Ellis noted that The Pokémon Company considers Nuzlocke runs “to be on the same level as using a hacked game” and said they thought they would be fired for suggesting a Nuzlocke run on an official Nintendo channel.
Some of the confusion may be due to the fact that many Nuzlocke runs are created using emulators and randomizers, both of which manipulate the code of a Pokémon game. These versions of Nuzlockes are on par with a hacked game, because…well, they’re hacked games.
Anyway, The Pokémon Company has apparently cleared things up, allowing players to play through Nuzlocke series of their favorite Pokémon games whenever they want. Just be sure to give your Pokemon particularly meaningful names, to make their release that much more tragic.