Following statements made by former Nintendo of America employees, The Pokemon Company states its opinion on Nuzlocke runs.
The Pokemon Company has issued a statement confirming that it has no problem with Nuzlocke runs. As the Pokemon franchise has spanned over two decades, plenty of its audience consists of older gamers who have followed the series since they were young. This means that for some the newer Pokemon entries are seen to be somewhat lacking in difficulty, leading certain players to add layers of challenge to the games. One of these difficulty measures is what is known as a Nuzlocke run.
A Nuzlocke run gives players certain rules to follow throughout their Pokemon journey. A Pokemon Nuzlocke challenge can be made up of different rules, but generally players are only allowed to catch one Pokemon per route or area, and should any Pokemon in their party faint, they must release their companion or store it permanently. Recently, two former Nintendo of America employees stated that Pokemon Nuzlocke challenges are seen as the equivalent of ROM hacks by The Pokemon Company.
This seemed strange to many, as while players and streamers use randomizers in Pokemon Nuzlocke runs, usually the challenge is placed on the user by themselves. There aren’t any game systems that will stop them from reviving a Pokemon, for example, and the difficulty is up to the player to maintain. However, according to a tweet by Joe Merrick of Serebii.net, it seems that The Pokemon Company does not view Nuzlockes as harshly as was indicated and recently stated that it doesn’t have “any issues with fans/creators playing the games with Nuzlocke rules.”
While The Pokemon Company’s attitude towards Nuzlocke runs would not have stopped many players from partaking in them, for a lot of fans it is good to hear that the company behind their favorite gaming franchise encourages their homemade difficulty measures. In the same Twitter thread, Merrick stated that no Pokemon content creators were ever dismissed from programs with The Pokemon Company for doing “simple Nuzlockes,” likely referring to those that don’t involve randomizers. As some have pointed out online, this does leave the door open for Nuzlockes to become an official game mode for future Pokemon entries.
However, it seems unlikely that The Pokemon Company is currently looking to produce a “hard mode” for the Pokemon games. Even if an official Nuzlocke mode were to be included, it might be a different type of game mode from what fans would expect, as the open worlds of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet would shake up the traditional way of playing those runs.
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