Earlier this week, Gamefreak’s Junichi Masuda revealed their controversial decision to limit the number of Pokemon transferable to Pokemon Sword & Shield to only those that were already featured in its regional Galar Dex.
In an interview with USGamer, Masuda went into further detail regarding the development team’s reasons behind the decision. Masuda began by re-iterating the growing challenge of modelling and balancing an ever-growing roster of Pokemon, especially now that the games have moved to Switch. While not explicitly stated, it is possible that Mega Evolutions & Z-moves were left out for similar reasons.
“There are a couple of different parts to the thinking behind it, but really the biggest reason for it is just the sheer number of Pokemon. We already have well over 800 Pokemon species, and there’s going to be more added in these games. And now that they’re on the Nintendo Switch, we’re creating it with much higher fidelity with higher quality animations. But even more than that, it’s coming down to the battle system. We’re making sure we can keep everything balanced and give all the Pokemon that appear in the games a chance to shine.”
Masuda went on to state that Gamefreak had realized they would eventually not be able to support every single Pokemon in future iterations of mainline games, and decided to take Pokemon Sword & Shield as an opportunity to go back and find “the best selection” of Pokemon. He further reassured fans that they would still be able to bring “a lot of favorites” over which “they’ve adventured with previously”.
“We knew at some point we weren’t going to be able to indefinitely keep supporting all of the Pokemon, and we just found that Sword and Shield would probably be a good point to go back and reevaluate what would be the best selection of Pokemon that appeal to the widest audience while keeping into consideration the balance of the battle system. It isn’t just going to be all-new Pokemon in the Galar region Pokedex; there’s still going to be a lot of favorites that fans will be able to bring over that they’ve adventured with previously. But yeah, it was pretty much just balancing and getting this optimal selection of Pokemon for the adventure we wanted to provide.”
Given Masuda’s statements, it is likely that Gamefreak intends to set a new precedent of limited selections of Pokemon for each new Generation moving forward. That said, given the immense backlash they are currently receiving for this decision, they may have to rethink whether this plan is really what is best for the franchise.
What do you think? Do you agree with Masuda’s reasoning? Let us know in the comments below.