Earlier in the week, as Pokémon Sword and Shield was shown off during Nintendo Treehouse Live at E3, it was revealed that not all Pokémon would be featured in the game. Rather than having the usual, complete Pokédex available by transferring your old catches over, only those found in the new Galar region (including some old favourites) will be obtainable.
Since the reveal, the Pokémon community has been in a bit of an uproar. The phrase 'Bring Back National Dex' soon began trending online and we've seen countless messages from fans upset at the situation, despite the fact that there seemed to be some pretty wise logic behind the decision.
Chatting to the folks over at USGamer, game producer Junichi Masuda explained the decision in more depth. He notes that "the sheer number of Pokémon" is becoming an issue in itself, but the need for higher quality animations on Switch and the series' ever-growing battle system also had an impact.
"There are a couple of different parts to the thinking behind it, but really the biggest reason for it is just the sheer number of Pokemon. We already have well over 800 Pokemon species, and there's going to be more added in these games. And now that they're on the Nintendo Switch, we're creating it with much higher fidelity with higher quality animations. But even more than that, it's coming down to the battle system. We're making sure we can keep everything balanced and give all the Pokemon that appear in the games a chance to shine."
"We knew at some point we weren't going to be able to indefinitely keep supporting all of the Pokemon, and we just found that Sword and Shield would probably be a good point to go back and reevaluate what would be the best selection of Pokemon that appeal to the widest audience while keeping into consideration the balance of the battle system. It isn't just going to be all-new Pokemon in the Galar region Pokedex; there's still going to be a lot of favorites that fans will be able to bring over that they've adventured with previously. But yeah, it was pretty much just balancing and getting this optimal selection of Pokemon for the adventure we wanted to provide."
We understand the upset, but we can also understand Game Freak's point of view. We can't think of many games which feature a cast of almost 1,000 characters which all have their own animations and data, and we're hopeful that the game's story, locations and new features will be enough to make the adventure worth it. It'll be interesting to see which Pokémon make it into the "optimal selection", though.
You can go ahead an read the full interview right here if you're interested; it covers topics such as Pokémon's move into a new era, the new Dynamax system, Galar's UK inspiration and more.
Before you go, though, make sure to share your thoughts on this in the comments below.