Game Freak addresses fan response to Pokémon Sword and Shield Pokédex

Image Credit: The Pokemon Company/ Game Freak (Image credit: Game Freak/The Pokemon Company)

Pokémon Sword and Shield producer, Junichi Masuda, has issued a message to fans of the series, addressing the negative reaction to the recent news that the latest games won’t feature every single Pokémon.

During E3 2019, it emerged that Sword and Shield, the eighth generation of Pokémon games, would not allow players to catch ‘em all or import catches made outside the new Galar region through Pokémon Home. This makes Sword and Shield the first mainline games in the series not to support every single Pokémon species, the number of which has now climbed beyond 800. A far cry from the 151 that appeared in the first games. 

The backlash from fans was swift and Masuda addressed it in an interview with Famitsuearlier this month. In this interview, the producer explained the difficulties of rendering so many Pokémon models on the Nintendo Switch to the right graphical quality and pointed out the challenge of balancing each and every monster in battles. While, he said, it was a very difficult decision, he knew it was one he would have to make eventually and decided to “choose the quality”.

Catch as many as you can

In this latest statement posted on the official Pokémon site, Masuda stands by the decision despite ongoing discontent (on which he puts an admirably positive spin).

“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.”

Masuda then points out that “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.“

Pokémon Sword and Shield will release on November 15 for Nintendo Switch.

Emma Boyle

Emma Boyle is TechRadar’s ex-Gaming Editor, and is now a content developer and freelance journalist. She has written for magazines and websites including T3, Stuff and The Independent. Emma currently works as a Content Developer in Edinburgh.