The Pokémon Company has released a statement informing players that Pokémon Global Link will not be supported by the upcoming Gen VIII Switch pair Pokémon Sword and Shield. Instead, it seems that the new service Pokémon HOME will be inheriting some of the functionality you'd expect from Global Link and the main online multiplayer will be implemented via the Switch's native 'connectivity features'.
Pokémon Global Link (for those not in the know) is the online service and website which players have used since Generation V when battling and trading over the internet. Players may have expected to use the service to access things like Rating Battles and online competitions, but while 'equivalent' services are planned for Pokémon Sword and Shield, they'll be handled through Nintendo Switch Online rather than Global Link this time around.
Here's the pertinent information from the statement that can be found on The Pokémon Company's website:
Hello there, Trainers! Thank you for using our products and services. We have some information regarding Pokémon Global Link (PGL) and the upcoming Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield games, which will release for Nintendo Switch on November 15, 2019.
For Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, services equivalent to the current Rating Battle and Online Competitions are planned to be supported. However, PGL will not support Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield.
These battles and Online Competitions can be enjoyed in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield using just the connectivity features of Nintendo Switch* Game Sync will not be required for these new games. For more information on Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, visit the official site.
In addition, functionality from PGL to view services such as Rankings, Distribution Regulations, and the events calendar will be provided through Pokémon HOME, which is planned for release on iOS and Android devices in early 2020.
The game is launching worldwide on 15th November this year, so it's unclear at the moment if the 'Rankings, Distribution Regulations, and the events calendar' information will be available elsewhere until HOME launches early next year. Nintendo is hardly making much use of its maligned Nintendo Switch Online app, so maybe we'll see an update to that.
It does seem like The Pokémon Company enjoys launching a service. We wouldn't be surprised if they roll out another one next year when they unveil 'Ultra Helmet' or 'Super Scabbard' or whatever the third, updated version of Sword and Shield will be.
Are you sad to see PGL going unsupported in Gen VIII? Do you have confidence in the alternatives being provided. Let us know your thoughts and feeling with a Poké-mment below.