"Pokémon Sword and Shield," the latest instalment in the popular Pokémon franchise is launching tomorrow but what should be Nintendo's signature launch of the year and a big moment for the series, has been overshadowed by a controversy that has led fans to make a petition to ban the game to the White House.
Why are fans angry?
It all started when the game's developer, Game Freak, revealed that the upcoming Nintendo Switch title would not feature a National Dex, which allowed Pokémon from all previous iterations to be available in "Sword and Shield."
This led to serious backlash from the Pokémon fanbase with fans calling the game studio "lazy" and "greedy," as previously reported. The controversy has been reignited recently in the wake of reports that Game Freak is pulling identical models of Pokémon from "Sun and Moon," which goes against Game Freak's earlier justification that the models and animations will be created from scratch.
This has fuelled the flames of already furious fans who feel betrayed and lied to by the video game developer. Fans have got #GameFreakLied to trend on Twitter with side-by-side comparisons and videos showing that either reused or lower quality animations were being used in the upcoming game.
White House petition to ban the game
One of the fans started an official petition on the White House website urging the President, Donald Trump, to ban the sale of "Pokémon Sword and Shield" in the United States.
"President Trump and Congress, the newest Pokemon games by Game Freak and Nintendo are negatively impacting the market with questionable decisions," reads the petition, which is already over 170 signatures strong as of now.
""We believe if the sales of the games were to stop, it will wake up Game Freak and we'll get quality back," the description adds. "This will set a bad standard in the markets if these were to get sold. We, as both Pokemon fans but more importantly, American Citizens believe this is violating our Market rights and need something done about this."
This isn't the first petition that has been started in the wake of the National Dex controversy. Earlier this year, a fan named Stephen Van Ness started a Change.org petition to bring back the National Dex.