‘Pokemon’ has been one of the largest video game franchises in the world for, well, decades. The legendary media franchise has enjoyed continued success as their work has mirrored the growth of Nintendo. From the humble beginnings of the Gameboy to the new Nintendo Switch, ‘Pokemon’ fans have been glued to their screen, loyally following the action. Unfortunately, the recent announcement of ‘Pokemon Sword and Shield’ has fans finally questioning their role in the creative process. Legendary game developer Game Freak may have finally used up all of the goodwill afforded to them by their player base.
The crux of the problem that fans have with the latest ‘Pokemon’ title announcement is simple, they want more. Game Freak has made it abundantly clear that ‘Sword and Shield’ will not allow players to have access to all of the Pokemon that they have been loyally capturing for years. The removal of the National Dex ensures that gamers will not be able to capture, acquire, or trade for many of the 800+ Pokemon that have been created throughout the series long run. This is the first time since the beginning of generation 3 that players have been incapable of acquiring every single Pokemon in some fashion. The outcry from Pokemon fans was almost deafening and a petition was almost instantly launched.
Junichi Masuda is the producer at Game Freak and he is notorious for being tight-lipped, even with regard to his customers. Despite this, Game Freak seemingly knew that they could not get away with ignoring the anger from their player base. Unfortunately, Masuda seemingly made things worse with his most recent press release. Masuda issued the first of what will likely be multiple, albeit rare, statements. Masuda made sure to stress his own shared love for the Pokemon series, but the developer came up very short of assuring that any changes would be on their way to ‘Sword and Shield’. In fact, Masuda may have muddied the waters even more with his response. Masuda went on to say that Pokemon will come and go with future releases, thus making it clear that a National Dex was not their first concern.
While ‘Pokemon’ fans are legendary for being loyal to their franchise, Game Freak might be at the end of their rope. ‘Sword and Shield’ will likely see zero major updates in response to fan backlash, which assures that the series might finally hit a financial roadblock. What is Pokemon when you can’t catch ’em all?