Pokemon Sword and Shield may not support all 807 of your beloved pocket monsters, but that doesn’t mean they’re gone forever, doomed to a lonely eternity at the bottom of a PC box. In “a message for Pokemon video game fans” posted to The Pokemon Company’s official website earlier today, Sword and Shield producer Junichi Masuda took a minute to reassure trainers that Game Freak is committed to the entire stable of Pokemon.
“Just like all of you, we are passionate about Pokemon and each and every one of them is very important to us,” Masuda said. “After so many years of developing the Pokemon video games, this was a very difficult decision for me. I’d like to make one thing clear: even if a specific Pokemon is not available in Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield, that does not mean it will not appear in future games.”
You’d think this would go without saying — that Game Freak would never abandon the creatures that made it one of the most influential developers in video games — but apparently this needed to be said for some people out there to cool their jets. Masuda’s announcement that Sword and Shield will be limited to the Pokemon in its Pokedex (as opposed to every existing Pokemon from prior games) ruffled enough Pidgey feathers to open a pillow factory, but it’s not that wild when you think about it. Sword and Shield is the first true Pokemon game developed for a home console, and by extension is the first Pokemon game to be developed at this level of visual fidelity. To put the time and development resources into creating 3D models and attack animations for all 807 previous Pokemon would be ludicrously expensive, even for Game Freak.
Right now, we don’t know which Pokemon are or aren’t in the Galar Pokedex, which isn’t helping things. It’s probably safe to bet on Pikachu’s inclusion, but there are a lot of obscure Pokemon that will likely be left on the bench. Game Freak could cool many a hot head by announcing which Pokemon made it into Sword and Shield, if only to thin the field of trainers whose most-beloved pocket pals are included. We’re sure there’s someone out there whose favorite Pokemon is Stunfisk or something, and it’ll be a bummer for them if Stunfisk isn’t in the new Galar region Pokedex, but right now we just don’t know. And you know what can be worse than getting some bad news? Knowing that you might get some bad news.
Considering that Sword and Shield has already given us Wooloo and Sobble, who are both flawless Pokemon beyond reproach, we’re way more excited to see what Game Freak has in store than we are to see more of the same. That said, if Jigglypuff ain’t native to Galar, somebody is gonna end up on the wrong side of a Double Slap.