It was recently revealed that Pokemon Go developer Niantic has censored the name “Ho-Oh,” alongside the names of several other official Pokemon.
The phenomenon was originally noticed by Redditor sliceanddic3, who posted their findings over on Pokemon Go subreddit The Silph Road. You can check out the full post below.
“Apparently the name Ho-Oh is inappropriate,” they wrote. It appears as if nicknaming your Ho-Oh locks you out of ever reversing that decision – at least via the actual nickname interface (although Redditor glumada points out that “Hoe-Oh” isn’t censored, which gives you an alternative way out if you’re willing to name your Legendary Pokemon after a gardening tool).
It seems that this isn’t the first time Niantic has accidentally censored official Pokemon names. Reddit user Jonneygee mentions that Lickitung and Lickilicky can’t have their nicknames reversed either due to the fact the word “lick” is forbidden in the nickname interface, but there is literally a Pokemon move called Lick, which makes this seem a bit like overkill, if not completely absurd.
Similarly, Redditor Hevgirl comments that Shroomish presents another case, because “shroom” isn’t allowed either. If Nintendo didn’t want us naming our Pokemon after magic mushrooms, they probably shouldn’t have designed a Pokemon who is, in fact, an actual magic mushroom. Let’s not forget that its evolved form is a magic mushroom with plant-based boxing gloves, either.
Apparently you can remedy the situation by simply deleting the text in the nickname bar, but the fact remains that Niantic’s current language filter actively includes proper Pokemon names in its list of censored words, which is a bit odd. Redditor PecanAndy neatly dissected the logic of the situation:
If you’d like to change your Pokemon’s nickname back to its original form, you can just delete the nickname. But beware: you may be sacrificing a golden opportunity. I’m not at liberty to divulge the nicknames some particular creatives have sneaked past Niantic’s filters, but you can check them out over on Reddit. Or, perhaps more interestingly, you can read about how Niantic canceled a Pokemon Go community day after using data from World War 2. Yes, you read that correctly.