Game Freak has pulled one blinder of a surprise out of the bag this week.
Yesterday, the developer announced via a special Direct stream that two major DLC expansions for Pokémon Sword and Shield are in the works. Had this been any other triple-A title, confirmation of additional content would have been a wholly unsurprising affair, but for Pokémon, it’s a monumental step indeed. Not in the franchise’s 24-year history has an entry in the core RPG series ever received new features post-launch and many, including yours truly, couldn’t be happier to see the studio finally catch up with the rest of the industry.
Traditionally, each new generation of Pokémon games is followed 12 months later with a ‘side sequel’ or third game (e.g. Ultra Sun & Moon and Yellow Version) that keeps the base game largely intact while layering additional features not found in the originals on top. With the adoption of a DLC model, however, Pokéfans now no longer need to restart their adventure anytime a mid-gen upgrade arrives, but simply continue where they left off.
Whether you prefer the old way or the new largely comes down to personal preference, of course, though it seems, right now at least, that the majority are in favor of the latter. Check out some early reactions from fans below:
KNIVES OUT is likely getting an immediate follow up from Rian. GUNS AKIMBO has gotten a February release date. LOCKE AND KEY has a trailer and is on its way. And Pokemon Sword and Shield are getting expansions.
2020, you magnificent bastard.
— C. Robert Cargill (@Massawyrm) January 9, 2020
Honestly, it feels like there is more content/new Pokemon being added to the expansions of Pokemon Sword/Shield than any of the third versions of any other Pokemon game.
They are really going all out on this.
— Stealth (@Stealth40k) January 9, 2020
Aww heck, PMD Rescue Team remake? Straight-up DLC expansions for SwSh instead of 'third version'? Adding back more Pokemon (legendaries included) to the dex??
Here we go bois pic.twitter.com/DHpctifTxG
— Glimglam (@GlimDoesThings) January 9, 2020
I'm very happy with this #PokemonDirect one of my favorite spinoffs is finally getting some love again with Pokemon Mystery Dungeon DX and the expansions for Sw/Sh…wonderful! All I can say is that very happy with all of this and can't wait!! pic.twitter.com/mR4lRxLdM6
— Pikachu0Z (@pikachu0z) January 9, 2020
Seeing some people going on about Pokemon Sword/Shield being "an incomplete game"…I don't know, I spent almost 200 hours on the base game alone. I'm looking forward to dumping another 200 hours into the game when the expansions come out.
— JoeCoolRadioDemon (@JoeCoolMaverick) January 9, 2020
I'm really excited by all this new Pokémon news! I know everyone has a different opinion/expectation, but I'm more than pumped to get expansions like this in 2020 instead of a new yearly release. Definitely a better approach than "Ultra".
Plus MYSTERY DUNGEON BAYBEEEEEE pic.twitter.com/5g5AO7CijZ
— Joshua Wittenkeller (@TheJWittz) January 9, 2020
MORE FROM THE WEB
So I’m gonna talk about the DLC expansions later but I’d just like to point out they just added 200 more Pokémon to the game essentially for free.
Meaning they’ll likely be adding the rest of the Dex as free updates as well.
So it looks like the National Dex is back.
— Kaito (#Sunandmoonnation) (@KizzityKaito) January 9, 2020
Man I super hope pokemon comes out with a massive art book for sword and shield after these expansions. Seeing all the concept art and doodles of the gigantimax's is so cool! Live for that sort of design stuff
— Bod +1 to heeps (@bodbloat) January 9, 2020
— Quiet striped cat lives on (@Sleeklemur) January 9, 2020
Well if you watched Pokemon direct today, they announced for expansions for Sword and Shield, and Mystery Dungeon DX, however for hope for a Sinnoh remake…sorry but not in today's Direct.
"I'm not amused but looking forward to Mystery Dungeon DX" pic.twitter.com/Ylw2ToUZcW
— Hikarifan25 (@Hikarifan25) January 9, 2020
Pokémon Sword and Shield‘s first expansion, The Isle of Armor, is due to arrive in June, with the second, Crown Tundra, scheduled to follow in the fall. Those that missed all the major talking points can head over here for to watch yesterday’s trailer or, alternatively, check out a number of the new Pokémon revealed to be inhabiting these new mysterious new areas. Enjoy!