Game Freak has responded to the backlash from their controversial decision to not allow all Pokémon to be imported into the upcoming Pokémon Sword and Shield, but the developer said that it will not change its plans for the highly anticipated RPG.
Pokémon Sword and Shield, announced earlier this year, generated massive hype as the next entry in the series. However, in Nintendo’s Treehouse Live presentation at E3 2019, it was revealed that not all Pokémon in players’ collections may be transferred to the upcoming game.
Game Freak’s Junichi Masuda, the producer for Pokémon Sword and Shield, explained that with more than 800 Pokémon species, the designers had to balance importing as many Pokémon as possible while updating them to take advantage of the Nintendo Switch hardware. The decision was made to only allow Pokémon from the new Galar region to be imported to the RPG, as this also addresses possible competitive gameplay issues with so many available Pokémon and combos available.
The decision angered gamers, who have been transferring their collection of Pokémon between games in an effort to “catch ’em all” through the Pokémon Bank and the upcoming Pokémon Home.
In response to the backlash, Masuda released a statement on the official Pokémon website, in an attempt to placate the anger the controversy has generated among fans of the series.
“Just like all of you, we are passionate about Pokémon and each and every one of them is very important to us,” Masuda said in the statement. “After so many years of developing the Pokémon video games, this was a very difficult decision for me.”
Masuda, however, clarified that even if a certain Pokémon is not available in Pokémon Sword and Shield, that does not mean that it is gone forever. There is a chance that the Pokémon will appear in future games, though it remains unclear if players will be able to transfer that specific Pokémon from older games into newer ones.
“We are pouring our hearts into these games, and we hope you will look forward to joining us on this new journey,” Masuda wrote to end his statement, in a call for understanding as Game Freak works on Pokémon Sword and Shield.
It does not look like Game Freak will be changing its plans for Pokémon Sword and Shield, despite the backlash. While the controversial decision signals a massive shift from how things have worked for the series, it might be time to accept the change and focus on enjoying what the new Pokémon game will have to offer.
Pokémon Sword and Shield will launch for the Nintendo Switch on November 15.
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