Pokémon Gen 8 Starter Rumors: Leaked Art Was Fake

Pokemon is coming to the Nintendo Switch
Pokemon is coming to the Nintendo Switch Nintendo/PlayerOne

The Pokémon community woke up to some interesting rumors this week after a supposed leak of the starters for the upcoming Nintendo Switch game appeared online. An anonymous post, which was picked up by PokeJungle, showed concept art for three new Pokémon that looked a lot like previous leaked art for Sun and Moon.

Just 24 hours later, the artist confirmed the supposed Gen 8 starter Pokémon are fake. In an interview with Pokémon Millenium, an Italian Pokémon fansite, artist Leopoldo Spain spoke about the designs and what he would like to see in the upcoming Pokémon games.

Spain’s work closely resembles the current Pokémon designs and art style. The text on the concept art was also grammatically close to Japanese, further suggesting a legitimate leak. Serebii’s Joe Merrick even came out on Twitter to say although the wording was a bit off, he commends the artist’s work.

The fake starter art included a Grass-type Pokémon based on a lemur, a Fire-type based on a rabbit and a Water-type based on a platypus. When asked if there was a common theme that bind these three Pokémon together, like other regions do, Spain said, “There have never been logical connections between the starter and the region. It was simply a long time since I felt the need for a Platypus Pokémon (Psyduck does not matter), while for the Chinese zodiac for the Fire type, a rabbit was a very likely choice. The lemur arrived alone, a momentary inspiration that convinced me and that still makes it my favorite among the three.”

Personally, the rabbit and platypus designs were very well done and were very believable. That wasn’t so much the case the lemur, which, admittedly, looked out of place in the trio and was one aspect of the art that drew alarms among skeptics.

The Pokémon Company confirmed right before E3 2017 that the next Pokémon game is in development for the Nintendo Switch. Since then, the company has not revealed any further details, other than that it will be a mainline title.

Are you disappointed that the starter Pokémon rumor was disproven? Which of the three would you have chosen? Let us know in the comments section below.

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