Pokémon Sword & Shield Producer Addresses National Dex Backlash


Fans eagerly awaiting news on Pokémon Sword and Shield at this year’s E3 came away with a nasty surprise, as this will be the first game in which you won’t be able to catch ’em all. For twenty years, players have been able to transfer their Pokémon between generations of hardware. This has often been a complicated process, but it’s entirely possible to take critters from the virtual console edition of Pokémon Red and bring them through into the most modern games. But Sword & Shield may prevent you from doing that as some Pokémon simply won’t be coded into it.

From a development level, it’s an understandable position. There are 807 Pokémon to date, and Sword & Shield will bring many more. Each of these needs to be modeled and animated, making for a truly titanic task. So, on some level, this was going to have to happen at some point in the franchise. But that doesn’t stop fans from feeling hurt that a Pokémon they’ve gradually trained over many years might suddenly find itself obsolete. The strength of feeling against this announcement online is enormous, too, with a fan poll naming the games as the most hated at E3.

It’s even forced the generally publicity-shy producer to Junichi Masada to issue a series of statements. In a recent interview with Famitsu he said, “it has become extremely difficult to make Pokémon with a new personality play an active part and to balance their compatibility.” And now he’s made a statement directly to fans via the official Pokémon website, saying:

Thank you to all of our fans for caring so deeply about Pokémon. Recently, I shared the news that some Pokémon cannot be transferred to Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. I’ve read all your comments and appreciate your love and passion for Pokémon.

Just like all of you, we are passionate about Pokémon and each and every one of them is very important to us. After so many years of developing the Pokémon video games, this was a very difficult decision for me. I’d like to make one thing clear: even if a specific Pokémon is not available in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, that does not mean it will not appear in future games.

The world of Pokémon continues to evolve. The Galar region offers new Pokémon to encounter, Trainers to battle, and adventures to embark on. We are pouring our hearts into these games, and we hope you will look forward to joining us on this new journey.

I doubt this is going to calm things down, but at least they’re aware of the depth of feeling. My position is that yes, it is a lot of work to model, animate and balance so many creatures. But with The Pokémon Company recently posting mind-boggling profits, it’s not like they can’t afford to pay developers to do that.

Sure, it’s a lot of work, but it’s kind of their job. I think this furore might have been squashed early if they’d taken the position that not every Pokémon will be in the game at launch, but that they’d be working on adding them as downloadable content packs for dedicated players. But that’s just my opinion. If you have any thoughts of your own, be sure to share them with us down below.

Source: Pokemon.com

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