Gaming

Nintendo just changed Pikachu’s name and people are absolutely livid

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David Cornish
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Pika-who?

Yep, the electric yellow mouse, the unofficial mascot of the bothersomely successful Pokémon franchise, is getting a name change for the latest titles, Sun and Moon

Fear not - Pokémon No. 25 will still be called 'Pikachu' in old Blighty and the English-speaking nations.

The statically charged rotund rascal is switching its name in Hong Kong, and fans are bloody miffed about the hole debacle. 

The issue stems from a shift in the language choice of the new games. Formerly, Hong Kong players were able to catch 'em all in Cantonese Chinese - in which Pikachu was called 比卡超 (Bei-kaa-chyu). The new titles will see the game released with a unilateral translation of Mandarin Chinese, which terms the chubby electro rat "Pikaqiu".

While that might not look like a big deal, for Cantonese-speakers, the pronunciation of 'Pei-kaa-jau' is very different to 'Bei-kaa-chyu' - to the extent that it sparked protests on the streets of Hong Kong. According to QZ, on 30 May dozens (okay, so it's not a massive deal) of Pokémon fans marched on the Japanese Consulate in Central, singing the Cantonese Pokémon theme tune demanding that Hong Kong receive a Cantonese release of the new games Sun and Moon

Sure, it all sounds like a bit of a joke, but for citizens of Hong Kong it's a slap in the face from Nintendo (part owners of the franchise) for not respecting their local heritage and culture. 

Nintendo's Hong Kong branch apparently responded to fans with a plea that they continue to read the name with a Cantonese pronunciation. Here's how the protesters reacted...

[Via: Quartz]

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David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

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