Sword and Shield started off by with what seemed like a completely checked-off list of what many fans wanted in a Pokemon game. However, after a recent ‘Treehouse’ video from one of Pokemon’s co-founders stating that they are quite literally cutting Pokemon from the game, many fans are beyond unhappy.
In the video, game producer, director, and original co-founder, Junichi Masuda states that the company is moving in a direction where you simply won’t be able to obtain every Pokemon moving forward. This means that many Pokemon will be cut and simply will not be able to make it into future generations. Some of the reasons are due to hardware limitations, other reasons relate to balancing so many different moveset combinations, and even time constraints. The full translations of Masuda’s reveal statement can be read right here:
At Game Freak, we really spend a lot of time thinking about what the best way to move forward was, really preserving the quality of all the different Pokemon while also taking into account the battle balance, having so many different Pokemon available all within a limited development time. So, we don’t keep fans waiting too long for every new entry in the series.
After a lot of discussion, we decided to come to kind of a new direction. So what that means for Sword and Shield is that players will be able to transfer their Pokemon from Pokemon Home only if they appear in the Galar region Pokedex.
So we were very careful, we spent a lot of time really thinking what the best selection of Pokemon to match the setting of the adventure would be. So I’ll talk more about the details in future opportunities such as media interviews but I wanted to let you know today.
-Junichi Masuda, Co-Founder, Game Director at Game Freak
Another Redditor claims to have taken a more exact quote from what was said by Masuda, which you can also read here:
Pokemon Bank has, up to this point, allowed you to transfer up Pokemon that were not in the Alola Dex. As we’ve begun developing for the Nintendo Switch, we’ve given each individual Pokemon an incredible number of expressions.
We’ve discussed internally, at length, about how to raise the quality standard [I assume of animations/interactions] of each of the (in terms of Pokedex number) over 800 Pokemon and maintain combat balance, all within the limited amount of time we have to deliver this brand-new game to you guys.
As a result, starting with this game, we’ve decided to change our product direction. Basically, we’ve decided that the Pokemon that can be transferred between Pokemon Home and Sw/Sh will be limited to just Galar Dex Pokemon. We’ll choose Pokemon that best match the setting of the game’s various adventures.
-Junichi Masuda, Co-Founder, Game Director at Game Freak
Whichever version of Masuda’s statement is better is still bad for Pokemon fans. It stands to reason that there are some Pokemon that may never make it into Sword and Shield, ever. But that begs the question- if those Pokemon were cut, will they ever make their way to the current Switch hardware, and or are they lost forever?
Taking to social media, many long-time players feel as though their progress is being severed, having pocket monsters from several generations ago ready to make their way into Sword & Shield, the 8th gen Pokemon title. In this post about Pokemon Breeding, a fan details their history with breeding and how they simply won’t buy Sword or Shield due to the limitations, as it “completely messes up my breeding library.” Another post discusses the amount of time spending in previous games, sometimes amassing over 1,000+ in-game hours! All that time spent for nothing, in the end.
The outrage does not stop there. The feature Treehouse video above now has twice as many dislikes as likes, but that is not all. Going over to Twitter, #BringBackNationalDex is trending worldwide, or was. And many fans are expressing boycotts, retiring from the series, or simply holding out that Game Freak will make changes to fix this problem prior to launch. Heck, others are even hoping the game gets delayed so they will be able to transfer over all their hardwork from the last 20+ years.
So #PokemonSwordShield doesn’t have Megas, doesn’t have Z-moves, and doesn’t even have the entire pokedex in the game.
RIP everybody who paid for that scam that was Pokemon Bank. You can’t bring non-Galar pokemon into Sword & Shield.
Doesn’t effect me but that’s super shitty.
— Necroxis 🏳️🌈 (@Necroxis9) June 11, 2019
“A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad.” – Shigeru Miyamoto #BringBackNationalDex
— Pandorium (@TohruRei) June 12, 2019
— Lurwing (@Lurwing) June 12, 2019
The full set of Pokemon available in Galar region has not yet been confirmed, but it stands to reason that it will likely have the largest available regional Pokedex to date, but some Pokemon that aren’t necessarily favored, may not make the cut. In the trailers, you can see a handful of available types, such as Gyarados, Tyranitar, and the new 8th gen Pokemon (obviously), and more from previous generations. But is this enough? Clearly, the worldwide backlash is saying absolutely not.
For us, its hard to say. We can’t imagine Game Freak is taking this outrage lightly, and if social media has any sway whatsoever, the typhoon of anger could change the future for the series forever. Do we want all the Pokemon in the game? Absolutely, there is no doubt. Is it fair that players who have invested so much time the game to be forced to leave their hardwork behind? It is not fair and they have a right to be furious.
Here at Geek Outpost, we back the community 100%. This move is frustrating, and unacceptable. For too long and too often in recent years, game developers and publishers from every platform and genre are finding ways to over-promise, under-deliver, and over-price their content. Sword and Shield looks great, and we were hyped. But with this new revelation from Masuda, it sort of killed it for us knowing that some of our favorites may never make it into the final game.