The hashtag '#GameFreakLied' is trending in multiple countries around the world on Twitter, with a significant number of Pokémon fans believing that they may have been lied to about the development of Pokémon Sword and Shield.
At the time of writing, the trend is sitting at number eleven in the United Kingdom and at number one in the United States. It has been spreading in response to discoveries supposedly made thanks to the recent Sword and Shield leaks, which - alongside early copies of the game being released into the wild - have seemingly allowed modders to dig into the games' files and take a closer look at the models used for the Pokémon you'll be able to capture.
VG247 reports that these modders have compared the polygon counts for various 3D models found within Sword and Shield to those found within Pokémon Sun and Moon, finding that many examples have been 'reused' or seemingly hardly altered. Images depicting these similarities have been shared online.
The issue here is that Game Freak's Junichi Masuda once listed the use of "higher quality animations" in the new games as one of the reasons behind the incredibly controversial National Pokédex cut, and Shigeru Ohmori also confirmed that the choice was made thanks to Sword and Shield's models being created from scratch.
It's obviously a pretty bad look for Game Freak if this new information turns out to be true - reusing old game models isn't an issue, but lying to your fans certainly is - although it's worth noting that the vast majority of fans accusing the developer with the hashtag are basing their information on these shared images. Neither Game Freak or The Pokémon Company has commented on this 'discovery' as of yet, so it seems unwise to jump to conclusions before hearing what they have to say.
It's not all bad, thankfully; over the weekend, plenty of Pokémon fans banded together online to share messages of support to Game Freak. Our review of Pokémon Sword and Shield will be with you very shortly, too, so make sure to keep an eye on the site for that.
In the meantime, feel free to discuss these accusations in the comments below.