New Leak Suggests Pokémon Sword And Shield Was Delayed By A Year

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Following months of speculation and leaks purporting to have the scoop on the next generation of Pokémon games, Game Freak finally relented and made the news official earlier this year. Back in February, the storied developer held a special Nintendo Direct presentation as a platform to announce Pokémon Sword and Shield, kickstarting the eighth generation. Outside of the expected reveal of all three starters Trainers will have the choice of, other ‘Mons being added to the series’ by now overflowing Pokédex remain a secret, though a handful of leaks may have outed some early.

There’s still plenty of time for Game Freak to slowly let new details trickle onto the internet, of course, but should fans be concerned about the current lack of a firm release date for the pair of titles? A vague ‘Late 2019’ window is all the developer was willing to commit to during the original presentation, and further analysis of past leaks appears to suggest that each may have originally been slated for release last year.

As one of many leaks to have cropped up on website 4Chan prior to Sword and Shield‘s announcement, the particular info dump seen above accurately predicted several key elements that have since been made official, including that the island of Galar would be inspired by the UK, specifically the city of London. Most interesting of all, however, is the leak’s final few points. It stipulates that Game Freak was aiming for a November 2018 release, with a delay to Spring 2019 potentially on the cards.

It then adds that development is progressing “at an expected pace but everyone is overworked and stressed,” adding that “Game Freak was just not prepared for HD.” The latter statement no doubt refers to the franchise’s upcoming transition from 3DS to Nintendo Switch, and it appears as if Game Freak, at least in the early days of development, struggled to get to grips with the new hardware.

It could well be the case that last year’s Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu and Let’s Go, Eevee was originally intended to be released after Sword and Shield but Game Freak was forced to swap the positions of both due to the aforementioned problems.

Will the rumoured issues affect the final product that’s to be Pokémon Sword and Shield? It’s too early to say, but we expect to get a clearer idea of how the final product plays at this year’s E3. Stay tuned.

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