Ex-Nintendo hosts claim The Pokemon Company see nuzlocke runs as hacks

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An image of some Pokemon.

While many Pokemon trainers play the games on a casual basis, amassing a decent collection of their favourite little creatures and gradually levelling them up over time, hardcore players sometimes do things a little differently.

For these hardened veterans, multiple playthroughs are standard practice and sometimes, to keep things interesting, self-imposed rules may be imposed to challenge Pokemon’s very best to use strategies and Pokemon they might not usually opt for.

This practice is called a Nuzlocke challenge, and while it’s certainly popular among players, it’s now emerged that The Pokemon Company itself allegedly might not be a fan.

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Do you enjoy doing or watching Pokemon nuzlocke runs?

This is according to a YouTube podcast by Kit Ellis and Krysta Yang, the former hosts of the YouTube series Nintendo Minute. At one point, the pair discuss the time they pitched the idea of running a nuzlocke challenge for an episode of the show, only to have it shot down by The Pokemon Company International.

“So, they [The Pokemon Company International] said we consider this to be on the same level as using, like, hacks, ROM hacks.”, said Ellis, adding: “It’s just a style of playing a game that everybody can buy, there’s no hacking.”

Yang also adds: “There [were] a lot of creators that played nuzlocke for a style of Pokemon that got, like, erased from their creator program.”

The pair implied that they feared the suggestion would lead to negative long-term consequences for them in their workplace, with the company possibly being less likely to trust them to do other things.

A clip of this exchange was shared on Twitter by Pokemon YouTuber Patterrz, who commented: “The Pokemon Company probably didn’t know a regular nuzlocke was just self-imposed rules on a normal game.”

On the other hand, VG247’s Alex Donaldson took to the platform to defend Joe Merrick’s report that The Pokemon Company has denied that it takes steps to “punish creators/partners for doing Nuzlocke”, adding: “If you legitimise Nuzlocke on Nintendo Minute, you're a tiny degree of separation from legitimising the versions of Nuzlocke that involve modding or piracy, which Nintendo obviously doesn't want to do.”

Regardless of how you feel about nuzlocke runs, follow us for more Pokemon coverage and guides like the newest Pokemon GO Ditto disguises for September 2022. They're tricky to find in the wild.