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Yeah, and remember 2015 (one of said gap years)? The fanbase lost their minds because there was no Pokemon Z in sight. I vividly remember being hyped for Super Mystery Dungeon and really wanting to play it, telling my friends to do the same, but most of them didn't bother to give it a look because "they were waiting for Z", even a month before SMD was to launch. Then when the calendar went to 2016 some of them were outright baffled that GF took a gap year, as if it's a bad thing for them to do.
It wasn't a gap year for spinoffs, sure, but there really has never been as they're made by separate teams entirely.