Pokémon Co. not a fan of nuzlocke challenges (UPDATE)
Depending on big of a Pokémon fan you are, you may have never heard of a nuzlocke challenge. While nuzlocke challenges aren’t an official part of any Pokémon game, the setup has become extremely popular in the Pokémon community in recent years. Just in case you don’t know, a nuzlocke is a playthrough of a Pokémon game with several self-imposed rules.
Countless streamers have taken on various nuzlocke challenges in Pokémon games, as they’re a great way to create compelling content and bring in viewers. That’s why the team behind Nintendo Minute, Kit Ellis and Krysta Yang, thought they could do a nuzlocke challenge for an episode of the show. Surprisingly, Pokémon Co. was extremely against the idea.
In a recent episode of the Kit and Krysta podcast, the former Nintendo employees revealed that their pitch for a nuzlocke challenge episode elicited quite a negative response from the Pokémon Co. You can see Ellis’ comments on the matter below.
“Well, we have a great story to tell about this where we thought that this would be a fun idea for a Nintendo Minute video, so we pitched it to The Pokemon Company and said, ‘Hey, we would like to do a nuzlocke run, what do you think?’ ‘Here’s what we think’ – bam! So they said, ‘We consider this to be on the same level as using hacking’ – ROM hacks.
Excuse me? This is just the style of playing a game that everybody can buy – there’s no hacking, you’re just playing the game. That was truly one of the more like, ‘wait what?’ responses.”
Obviously, if Pokémon Co. lumps in nuzlocke challenges with ROM hacks, there’s no way in hell they’d want that content featured in a Nintendo Minute. It does seem like Pokémon Co. is being extremely harsh for a setup that has absolutely nothing to do with hacks at all, but as you know, Pokémon Co. operates in mysterious ways!
For what it’s worth, Joe Merrick of Serebii.net says the above information has been misconstrued in some way. Merrick says he’s spoken to The Pokémon Co. International about this matter, and they “don’t care as long as you follow the confines of what’s possible in the game.” Merrick believes what happened with Kit and Krysta was a miscommunication, but with that said, the end result is still the same.
UPDATE: The Pokemon Co. International has released an official statement on this matter, and you can read that full statement below.
“The Pokémon Company International does not have any issues with fans or creators playing the video games with Nuzlocke rules.”
Nuzlocke runs are just self-imposed gameplay rules though? How can they possibly be compared to ROM hacks.
It's only a way to add a hard mode to the games.
Hopefully Scarlet/Violet won't be dead easy.
A nuzlocke run basically adds a permadeath mechanic (that or permanent retirement) while imposing restrictions on when and how you can catch Pokémon. That’s more than a little subversive for a series that broadly emphasizes companionship and collecting. It’s definitely kosher because it’s emergent gameplay—not remotely on the level of ROM hacks or even Gameshark/Action Replay—but it’s still something TPCi wouldn’t want to promote in an official capacity. The disconnect between the gameplay and thematic elements is too hard a sell beyond the online crowd given the series’ usual image. Some things are better left as unofficial fan trends
Whoever Kit and Krysta talked to should have used a better metaphor. Hopefully someone out there takes the hint and makes a proper ORIGINAL monster tamer game out of the concept.
I thought it might be cool for them to build optional types of playthroughs like Nuzlocke right into the game. Sounds like that won't be happening anytime soon.
I'm wondering if The Pokemon Company rep they talked to conflated a regular nuzlocke with a randomized nuzlocke. I know randomized ones are really popular possibly even more so than the typical format.
I can see why they might not want to promote the ruleset given it kinda promotes "Pokemon dead forever after fainting" and that's an image they like to stay away from. But as far as the hacking comment, it doesn't make sense unless they were conflating things.
I'm pretty sure that they didn't really know what nuzlock even was.
For years I didn’t know what Nuzlocke runs meant. I thought it was something to do with the Pokémon Nuzleaf.
Technically you weren't wrong, since the comic that invented it (or at least popularized it) featured a Nuzleaf prominently which is where it got its name.
Oh thanks for that tidbit :)
Would Nintendo Minute fit under the "fans or creators label though"?, Seems more like a "official advertizement channel" for them which they still might not want nuzluckes in...