Pokemon Devs Respond to #ThankYouGameFreak Hashtag: "Sending the Love Back at You"

Pokemon Devs Respond to #ThankYouGameFreak Hashtag: "Sending the Love Back at You"

Pokemon fans flooded Twitter with positivity, and it was super effective.

Over the weekend, thousands of Pokemon fans on Twitter got the hashtag #ThankYouGameFreak trending on Twitter in an effort to push back against the wave of negativity the franchise's developers have faced of late. Disappointment over the restricted Pokedex in the games has colored Sword and Shield discussion for months—but while the hashtag was trending, a few members of Game Freak gave thanks for the positivity flowing its way.

#ThankYouGameFreak broke into the worldwide trending topics list on Saturday. On top of the outpouring from fans who simply wanted to show their love for the Pokemon series, many told stories of how Pokemon strongly influenced their lives and careers.

Game Freak also received some love from fellow developers Playtonic, the studio behind the Yooka-Laylee games:

Since Twitter isn't a pure beacon of kindness even at its best, if you look through the #ThankYouGameFreak tweets now you'll also find some messages from fans who're upset at the developers. Most of the ire and complaints still revolve around "Dexit," the fan rallying cry against Game Freak's decision to exclude many older Pokemon from the roster in Sword and Shield. Be warned: there's also the chance you'll run into leaked information if you scroll too deep into the hashtag.

While #ThankYouGameFreak was at its peak, however, the sentiment was overwhelmingly positive. By Sunday, the hashtag caught the attention of some Game Freak developers. Series director Shigeru Ohmori and lead producer Junichi Masuda gave their thanks:

Designer and Art Director James Turner also chimed in with his gratitude and an adorable illustration of two Ditto:

With Pokemon's strong emphasis on picking favorite monsters and forming bonds with them over the course of one or several games, it's natural that Game Freak's seen pushback over cutting the line-up. Whether you want to boycott Sword and Shield or you're happy with the reasoning for limiting the Galar Pokedex, #ThankYouGameFreak should stand as a reminder that the people who play, critique, and make the Pokemon games are just that: people. Sometimes after folks have been riled-up online for too long, people need to come together and spread some cheer—and the Pokemon community did just that.

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Mathew Olson


Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

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