Pokémon Sword and Shield developer Game Freak isn’t too concerned with the controversy caused by its choice to axe a much-loved feature.
For those not in the know, next month’s Switch exclusives will be the first in series history not to include a National Dex. Essentially what this means, is that, unlike past games, players won’t be able to migrate their existing Pokémon collections to the Generation 8 titles. Not entirely, at least. Following the controversial announcement at this year’s E3, the studio has since clarified that Sword and Shield‘s Galar region will be home to a wealth of existing ‘Mons from adventures past. Those that do make the cut will be transferable to and from new service Pokémon Home.
Those that don’t, however, will have to stay put in storage until Game Freak either potentially reintroduces them via post-launch patches or brings them back for future releases. As you might have guessed, the revelation hasn’t gone down well with many fans, with some resorting to derogatorily referring to the National Dex’s removal as ‘Dexit’: a riff on the UK’s ongoing divorce from the EU.
Despite the explicit negativity, though, Game Freak isn’t fazed. Speaking to VG247 in a recent interview, Sword and Shield producer Junichi Masuda said he and the development team “don’t have regrets” about its decisions. When directly asked whether the backlash had any impact on its design process, Masuda had the following to say.
It’s not necessarily that it’s made us rethink things per se, but what we are always looking at for the future is what we can do to make the most interesting game possible and make a more enjoyable, richer experience for the fans.
For example, when we add new moves and abilities we create a deeper experience for everyone to enjoy. This time around we can also give people a greater attachment to the Pokemon that are in the game, which is something we think is very important. So we definitely – we don’t have regrets about what we’ve done.
Echoing similar statements provided on the subject previously, Masuda stresses the importance of giving players new ways to enjoy playing Pokémon and, if doing so requires that sacrifices be made elsewhere, then so be it. With innovative features such as Gigantamaxing, multiplayer raids and more already crammed onto the cartridge, it’s hard to argue with Game Freak’s reasoning.
Pokémon Sword and Shield are out November 15th for Nintendo Switch.