Pokemon Sword and Protect was one of the best-selling games on the Nintendo Switch, although it generated quite a bit of controversy before its release. Game Freak’s decision to skip many pre-existing Pokémon in Sword and shield sparked backlash from some fans in the community and calls for a boycott ahead of its release. While the controversy has long died down, players are still wondering what the implications are of not including all Pokémon, and when Game Freak will be forced to resolve the issue of Pokémon numbers.

As the number of Pokémon increases with each new game, including Pokemon Sword and Protect, it becomes evident that it is difficult to port each Pokémon to a new game, if not most. For now, Game Freak seems comfortable with reducing the number of Pokémon that appear in each game, but at some point the number of Pokémon will need to be resolved.

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Reminder of the sword and shield controversy

Before the release of Pokémon Sword and Shield in 2019, Game Freak confirmed that not all Pokémon will make it to the new game. Not only was the National Dex removed, but some Pokémon would not be transferable to Sword and shield. As expected, this angered much of the community and Game Freak drew heavy criticism for the move. To make matters worse, game producer Junichi Masuda said there are two main reasons for omitting certain Pokémon. The first was that the series had started almost 1000 Pokémon, and it would have been necessary at some point to start cutting back. The second reason was that limiting the amount of Pokémon was supposed to give Game Freak the resources to polish the rest of the game.

However, fans were still unhappy with Masuda’s reasoning, as the announcement of Pokemon locking down behind the DLC and confirmation that this model would continue in future games drew even more criticism. As a result, the controversy has raised several important questions for the future of the Pokemon franchise.

Is Pokemon reaching critical mass?

Pokemon sword and shield starter evolutions leaked

One of the big worries of Pokemon fans, is that there will come a time when there will be too many Pokémon. The problem isn’t necessarily the number itself, but rather the limitations Game Freak might impose to fix the problem. Currently, there are 898 Pokémon available in all games right now, and around 230 Pokémon have not been implemented in Sword and shield since the Crown Tundra DLC update. The implication is that as Pokemon continues to grow as a franchise, more and more Pokémon will be left behind or taken out of a new game. Pokemon reached 1,500 Pokémon or even 2,000 Pokémon? Even the most obscure Pokémon will have fans, and their omission will leave players disappointed.

The precedent created by the publication of Sword and shield implies that Game Freak’s solution to this problem is to gradually reduce the amount of Pokémon that are ported to new games. While this action plan saves the developer time with animations, models, and evolutions, it doesn’t really address the player’s need to catch them all.

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As generations of game consoles improve, their storage options and loading times. Nintendo Switch itself has no problem hosting 898 different Pokémon on its hardware, and it’s not possible to say that future consoles may include thousands of potential Pokémon. However, just because it’s possible doesn’t mean it’s doable.

There are a number of options Game Freak could take at this point in the game. Pokemon franchise. If it continues the trend of removing Pokemon from new games, it could potentially lose older players who want to bring their veteran Pokemon from other games. At the same time, however, he can’t just stop creating new Pokémon. Having new Pokémon helps variety, and it’s always nice for new players to grow up with their own generation of Pokémon.

Solve the question of the number of Pokémon

pokemon picture

Pokemon is one of the largest franchises in the world right now and generates billions of dollars every year, and despite a few grievances, Sword and shield has been very successful and is still one of the Pokemon best-selling games. Game Freak has no reason to face the problem of having too many Pokémon at this point, but one day it just might.

There will probably come a time when the Pokemon the franchise must make a concrete decision on how to deal with the large number of Pokémon. From Sword and shield, there are approximately 665 Pokémon out of the 898 that have been ported. This ratio isn’t terrible, and while it was disappointing for some players to miss out on their old favorites, there are still plenty of Pokémon that have satisfied the majority of fans. But as the number of Pokémon increases, the ratio will get smaller and smaller. 650 Pokémon in a single game might seem like a lot right now, but in another decade, somewhere later, when there are 1,500 or 2,000 Pokémon, 650 won’t even be enough to cover half of the total Pokémon.

There is merit in these discussions because Game Freak will have to address this issue someday, and the reduction of Pokemon in Sword and shield is just the beginning. As more generations of Pokemon games are out, the number of Pokémon that will need to be cut will also increase. It remains to be seen whether Game Freak will continue this trend or decide to spend more time carrying each Pokémon. One thing is certain, however, he cannot ignore it forever.

Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield are available now on Nintendo Switch.

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