Furious Pokemon fans want President Trump to halt sales of the franchise’s newest video game amid a string of controversies.
One fan created an official White House petition Tuesday demanding the commander in chief take executive action against “Pokemon Sword and Shield” — in the wake of accusations that the title’s developer lied about why it cut some characters.
The developer, Game Freak, and Japanese gaming giant Nintendo are “negatively impacting the market with questionable decisions,” the petition declares.
“We, as both Pokemon fans but more importantly, American Citizens believe this is violating our Market rights and need something done about this,” according to the petition, which had about 200 signatures as of Thursday morning.
The plea will get an official response from the White House if it gets 100,000 signatures in 30 days.
Game Freak reportedly infuriated fans with its June announcement that some Pokemon would not be transferred into “Sword and Shield.” The pair of companion games for the Nintendo Switch is set to be released Friday.
Game Freak officials later said that was because they had to rebuild all the character models from scratch to work with the Switch console’s improved graphics system.
But some game dataminers who examined “Sword and Shield” character models claimed this week that they’re exactly the same as those used in “Pokemon Sun and Moon,” the series’ previous installment, Forbes reported. The alleged revelation led the hashtag “#GameFreakLied” to trend on Twitter.
The Pokemon Company, which markets the franchise, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the controversy.
But Game Freak’s Junichi Masuda sought to quell fans’ concerns about the limited Pokemon roster in “Sword and Shield.” Characters not featured in the game will not necessarily be excluded from future titles, he has said.
“We are pouring our hearts into these games, and we hope you will look forward to joining us on this new journey,” Masuda said in June.