You may have heard that, for the first time ever in the mainline series, Pokemon Sword and Shield will contain LESS Pokemon than the previous release, Sun and Moon. Fans are furious about the prospect that their favorite could be left out, and that some Pokemon from previous games could be nontransferable. Their outrage is hard to miss — it’s all over the Internet.
It HAS reached Junichi Masuda, producer and lead designer of Sword and Shield. Will he be reversing course as a result of demand? Uh, not really. Masuda is sticking to his guns on this one; read his full letter below.
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.
So why is he doing this in the first place? Because according to Game Freak, the number of Pokemon now reaches over 800 and it’s been getting harder to balance the battle mechanics between that many creatures. In addition, every single one of them has to be modeled and animated, even if they’re still cheating by overlaying attack “effects” over the same animation of a Pokemon falling down.
While some of the neglected Pokemon in Sword and Shield will very probably appear in a future title, as Masuda said, that just means someone else will be dropped. Like it or not, it’s the new normal for the series. Hence the new slogan: Gotta Catch Some Of ‘Em!