Earlier this month, Juinichi Masuda announced that not all Pokémon will be in or be able to be transferred to the upcoming Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. This news was met with loads of fan backlash over the possibility that they wouldn’t be able to use their favorite Pokémon or Pokémon they’ve had for years in the new games. Now, Game Freak has addressed this so called controversy.
Over on the official Pokémon website, Masuda has posted a short statement to fans of the series who are upset about the decision. In the statement, Masuda thanks fans for “caring so deeply” about the series. However, it doesn’t appear that Game Freak is willing to budge on the decision to limit which Pokémon can be transferred to Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. However, Masuda did give the indication that the Pokémon that won’t appear in the new games may appear in future ones.
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.
In Masuda’s original statement regarding the decision to limit which Pokémon will be transferable to the new games, he stated the sheer amount of Pokémon that exist now, 800+ different species, wanting to balance the battle system, and give other Pokémon “a chance to shine.” This does make sense as certain Pokémon are used more based on their stats, typing, and abilities being better than others.
The biggest example of higher usage rates for certain Pokémon was demonstrated during the 2015 Pokémon VGC World Championship. After the 2014 season was limited to the Kalos regional Pokédex, 2015 allowed for full access to the National Pokédex, excluding some legendaries. This lead to variations of the infamous CHALK team placing in six of the top eight spots including winning the whole event.
Masuda ended his new statement stating the entire Game Freak team is pouring their hearts into the new games, and they hope fans enjoy them. Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield are set to release later this year on November 15.