Game Freak has 'no plans' to add missing Pokemon to Sword & Shield, will continue this approach for future Pokemon games

Not the news fans wanted

If you were hoping Game Freak would add the Pokemon missing from Sword and Shield in a future update, consider those hopes squashed. In an interview with InsideGamer, Game Freak's Junichi Masuda said their are no plans to add remaining Pokemon to the game. On top of that, Masuda states that this approach is one they'll take for future Pokemon games as well. Check out his full statement below.

“We currently have no plans to make the Pokemon that are missing from the Galar Pokedex available in-game. This is an approach that we want to continue with in future Pokemon games. Up until now it hasn’t been possible to encounter every Pokemon in every game, so people had to transfer them from old games to the new game, by using Pokemon Bank for example.”

“The Pokemon Home app is currently in development, in which players can collect their various Pokemon, and only Pokemon in the Galar Pokedex can be transferred from there to Sword and Shield. But the way of playing is actually not very different from before with Pokemon Bank: up until now you have always only been able to meet Pokemon from a certain region.”

“We encourage people to use Pokemon Home to collect their Pokemon from old games. From there they might be able to take them to other games in the future. So take good care of your old Pokemon, because perhaps you can travel with them again in the future.”


Top Rated Comment
psi wind
Sun Nov 10 19 09:29am
Rating: 9

Because people keep acting like armchair developers. Actual developers have stated how difficult and time consuming something like this would actually take at this point with how many Pokemon there are, because even IF the base models are still future proof, porting to a new engine is not as easy as people keep thinking it is as there's much more involved than just a drag and drop. Heck, they've said the 3 months in making a new Pokemon from start to finish is actually very impressive.

I'm not a fan of it either, but I've also thought of what the positives are like having the competitive scene and online battling have a bit more diversity with no Megas to boot, or making it easier to do a new 100% in-game playthrough (not counting the version exclusives, and even then you can just get a friend to trade them over) since there's less Pokemon and Home exists. Considering people are trying to make crunch time less common, I find it interesting that Pokemon is the only series that people are clamoring for crunch time to be the norm

Sun Nov 10 19 02:32am
Rating: 1

This is next level ignorant.

Sun Nov 10 19 03:10am
Rating: 3 (Updated 1 time)

I’d love to pay a yearly fee to put all my Pokémon in Poké-jail just in case the great Poké-gods smile upon them and rank them among the chosen at some future time. What a great deal this is! Can’t wait!

Sun Nov 10 19 03:20am
Rating: 1

Yeah... that's the thing... charging money for a one-directional save service and then making it impossible to transfer your Pokemon forward to new games... meaning you either keep paying for the service or risk letting your Pokemon that cannot transfer get deleted... I'm sure lots of people are gonna enjoy that one...

I have my dissatisfactions right now too,
But if you transferred your pokemon into bank, you can transfer them back into whatever game they were last in before you put them in bank.

There is no "one-directional" aspect anywhere insight here.

Sun Nov 10 19 07:13am
(Updated 1 time)

I could be wrong but i thought i read somewhere that to use Pokemon in switch game you are going to need to use Pokemon home. and once you send them from bank to home thats it you can not send them back. If you keep Pokemon in bank and send some to home i hope that you dont have to pay for both bank and home but the way is games are today you will more then likely have to. At least that is what i am afraid of.

If that turns out to be true, I'll be just as disappointed as anyone else.

But so far there's nothing concrete about Home.
I don't think we even know a target launch date yet, much less the specifics governing which direction you can transfer pokemon in.

I'm going to wait and see before I assume Home is as under-handed as the user above appears to think it will be.

Sun Nov 10 19 09:17am
(Updated 1 time)

Pokemon Home will only be bi-directional for Sword and Shield.

For Pokemon Bank, Pokemon Go and Lets Go it’s a one-way transfer into Home.

Sun Nov 10 19 01:01pm
(Updated 1 time)

Really? That's not what I heard...

Sun Nov 10 19 03:22am
Rating: 1

This is so sad.
I guess this is the time I stop playing Pokemon, never thought this day would come.. :/

Damn this news comes out right after #ThankYouGameFreak was trending on Twitter. Lol


Sun Nov 10 19 06:13am
Rating: 1

well, i guess Gen 7 really was the last pokemon gen for me. I wont support gamefreak anymore until they change their ways, not only about this decision, but about everything else they removed, or is lacking, like in the technical department.

Sun Nov 10 19 08:40am
Rating: 3

I really don't get why they're being so stubborn on this. It's as if they're intentionally trying to piss away any fan goodwill they have left.

Have they given us an official reason why they went with this approach?

acording to Game Freak the cut of importants mechanics such as National Dex, Mega Evolution and Z-moves is to provide better animation in the game and also because of Pokémon Home.

Game Informer interviewed them and they explicitly mentioned they've had ideas for gameplay/plot features for the past few gens they wanted to implement, but couldn't due to most of the time focusing on including all the mons. SM nearly cut them out.

Some figure that certain noteworthy annoyances from prior games such as:

-Power Plant in XY being locked
-Emma's story in XY being barebones
-The postgame city in XY being tiny
-Almost no post-game events or really much to do to max out the trainer card in XY

-ORAS cutting the Safari Zone, Battle Frontier, Pokeblock Minigame, Game Corner, (not even replacing this one like in LGPE, they didn't even bother) Battle Tower, Trainer Hill, and old Mirage Island, with the only noteworthy addition being some Secret Base features. This is easily the worst of the Pokemon games by far and it shows that this one had a time crunch, depressingly

-SM's weird golf course being on the map and not visitable
-No Hall of Fame
-No proper EXP grinding spots

These were ALL speculated to be caused by lost time due to focusing on mons. Thus, from what it sounds like stuff they want to add in SWS and other games for the most part will be consistent with what they wanted to include to begin with. For all we know, stuff like the super customizable trainer cards, a potential big area to explore, sidequests and other misc stuff might have not been there without cutting the dex. Some may not like that tradeoff and don't mind these games having less replay value, but honestly I feel that something akin to a Pokemon Battle Revolution game with all the mons for JUST battling would be what could shut that part of the fanbase up. Heck, some hope HOME will offer that capability and that's why they'd let you transfer non-Galar mons to it. You can already trade with anyone with the app, so why not battle them too?

psi wind
Sun Nov 10 19 09:29am
Rating: 9

Because people keep acting like armchair developers. Actual developers have stated how difficult and time consuming something like this would actually take at this point with how many Pokemon there are, because even IF the base models are still future proof, porting to a new engine is not as easy as people keep thinking it is as there's much more involved than just a drag and drop. Heck, they've said the 3 months in making a new Pokemon from start to finish is actually very impressive.

I'm not a fan of it either, but I've also thought of what the positives are like having the competitive scene and online battling have a bit more diversity with no Megas to boot, or making it easier to do a new 100% in-game playthrough (not counting the version exclusives, and even then you can just get a friend to trade them over) since there's less Pokemon and Home exists. Considering people are trying to make crunch time less common, I find it interesting that Pokemon is the only series that people are clamoring for crunch time to be the norm

I was just thinking about how folks banded together to rebuke NetherRealm and Rockstar amid rumors of crunch, and generally poor employee treatment.

We also get mad at development bloat and the inevitable massive layoffs with EA and Activision. We laughed at Square-Enix when they said that selling a couple million copies of some of their big games wasnt considered a "success".

I guess scruples only hold up until it's a series people are passionate about...

Ironically, fans are giving Game Freak this much flack over an already hard (and inevitable) decision, but likely dont realize something else is gonna have to give to get the National Dex back. I think it's near-impossibe to get everything we want moving forward.

Sun Nov 10 19 11:00am
Rating: 5 (Updated 1 time)

I don’t think people are advocating for crunch time in Pokemon Games. If anything people are acknowledging that the annualization of Pokemon games isn’t doing them any favours. That is a huge reason why GameFreak may be feeling burnt out, low morale, etc.

Since 2007 there have only been 2 years where a mainline game didn’t release (using the initial Japanese release dates).

Annualization caused a drop in game quality for Assassins Creed so they took a few years off and came back with a much much better game.

Fans would have definitely accepted if Pokemon Sword and Shield got delayed to 2020. But likely the (Nintendo) business dictated they release this year in time for Christmas.

And btw - assets like character models are typically platform agnostic. They don’t need “porting”. The game engine might but assets like models do not. They’re consumed by the engine - once the engine is ported the same assets should work. They do actually just “drag and drop” over. It’d be like saying you’d need to “port” a JPEG from Windows to Linux.

I’m still planning on getting the game. Not sure which version yet. All I’m saying is there are reasonable steps that could be taken to create the best game possible for both GameFreak and fans.

Do I think Sword and Shield will be good? Yes I do.

Do I think they’ll be the best Pokemon games? No based on what I’ve seen so far.

Am I disappointed that the first new entry in the series on a home console is lacking compared to its handheld predecessors? Sure. I was hoping the move to console would reinvigorate the series but it seems to have caused a setback.

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.

Sun Nov 10 19 08:55pm
(Updated 1 time)

I really do hope they are given more time from here on out. These comments from Masuda and Ohmori and such almost feel like a cry for help because the people they have to answer to have put them in an unwinnable situation. Pokémon Sword & Shield are coming across as incomplete. (And I'm guessing the reason for not counting on more Pokémon being added in is because they're already being pushed to the brink to make the one to come out in 2020.)

For the record, I'm guessing the people who are pressuring them to put out a new game every year, for the generations to be a certain length, etc. are actually Takara-Tomy and the studio that makes the anime (I think it's Shogakukan, but I could be wrong). Takara-Tomy, in particular, represents the merchandise, which makes up about two-thirds of the profits from the Pokémon franchise, and they'd be the ones who get to decide when new Pokémon should be available. Nintendo doesn't really come across as the sort of company to force them under such strict deadlines; if anything, they'd be fully advocating for Game Freak to delay Pokémon Sword & Shield to make them the games they want. I mean, Smash Bros. games get delayed, and those are the games Nintendo would REALLY like to come out sooner.

By the way, Sonic also suffered greatly when moving to HD, considering their debut game in HD was Sonic 2006. It's really a second polygon ceiling after going from 2-D to 3-D.

They already said they wouldn’t adding more Pokemon to Sword and Shield via updates but the statement about future games having a slimmed down Pokédex is unfortunate news.

The creation of high quality models for every Pokemon could easily be out-sourced and a catalog of assets created. Hell renegotiate with Niantic and have them create the assets that both Go and Pokemon.Next could use. It’ll be a real shame if the only game that supports all Pokemon is Pokemon Go.

I bet Sword & Shield will still sell incredibly well.

It will, because most players don't transfer their Pokemon from old games into new ones. It's always been a niche feature.

i extremely dissapointed with this news but also expected this, sadly for the first time since gen 1 i not going to buy or tell someone to give to me Pokémon Sword & Shield, this game seens to be quite mediocre, i prefer to play a much better game such as Luigi Mansion 3 or Super Mario Odyssey, in this case one of my cousins is going to bring to me Luigi Mansion 3 and the Switch with better battery life when he go to a trip to USA this novembre close to Black Friday.

There's like 900 Pokemon do you people seriously expect them to not only make new ones for each and every game going forward aa well as bring every single Pokemon from every game back to every game constantly upgrading them for every single generation? That's absurd, at aome point it was bound to get to this point where it's either,

We keep all the old Pokemon or we get new Pokemon,

Which matters more to you people?

And seriously this is so hypocritical, no one batted an eye when Smash ultimate ditched the trophies because they were "too taxing to implement again," but heres the Pokemon fandom being irrational and wanting the developers to put 1000 more hours into the game because god forbid you not be able to use a Bulbasaur or whatever.

They future-proofed the Pokemon models and animations before 3DS in order to ensure they wouldn't have to do it again for a while. Why backtrack on it now?

A new part of the equation, a new business model as it were. Pokemon Home was added to the equation. But they aren't talking about when it's coming out, what it will do or how much it will cost. But the time that happens it will be too late. They'll have people locked into $5, maybe $10 a year for as long as people want to keep their Pokemon. Or if you don't pay, they're deleted. Holding your data for ransom.

psi wind
Sun Nov 10 19 12:20pm
Rating: 2 (Updated 1 time)

They still need to program them in, make sure everything is working as intended and smoothly, and when a new engine is being used, they have to also make sure they're compatible first. They have the base models and animations, but they were programmed for the 3DS engine. I saw someone use MHW as an example of remaking the models, but all they did was use the old ones as a base, even using the older animations still. However, they couldn't get the Leviathan monsters in as the skeleton was incompatible with the new engine. There's a lot more involved than people think. Future proof=/=easy import. They made the models with high polygons to use as a base and rework them if needed, like higher quality textures or shaders.

Let's Go has the data of all Pokemon, yes, but its because it uses a very heavily modified Gen 7 engine. Any Pokemon game, or even a game franchise in general, using the same game engine is going to generally contain the older games items as leftover data. As another example, Generations uses the Hedgehog Engine and contains leftover data from Unleashed, like UI elements and the shaders.

Models made for the 3DS aren't gonna look good in HD and are only gonna look worse the further you go into the future. The big appeal of new tech is to see how graphically some thingd evolve and new tech allows for higher poly counts on models, better sharers, more fluid animations, better lighting and so on. Porting all of that along with adding like 50 new Pokemon every generation is dumb and too taxing for any team.

I'll admit that creating the Pokemon bank and charging people to use it only to start dropping other Pokemon is also dumb.

The models for 3DS were made for HD and scaled down, for the very reason to not have to re-do them for the inevitable HD Pokemon game.

Even assuming they were perfect and never needed to be remade, porting all of them into every single game going forward and making animations for them or even just porting all the old animations, alongside all the other work including new Pokemon, new regions, nee characters, balancing, finding trainers and places to utilize the old and new Pokemon, is a massive almost unreasonable amount of work and to blow up and act like the company is outright robbing you as many in this fandom has or taking it to the level of wanting to fire the CEO of the company or wishing he'd die is one of if the most childish things I've seen any fandom ever do.

The worst part is that ALL of this is stimming solely from the fact that the first proper console Pokemon game isn't the most massive over-the-top BOTW Pokemon experience that everyone got their hopes up for despite NEVER BEING PROMISED TO THEM. But I digress, Pokemon is a huge franchise, and they make a ton of money, so it's perfectly reasonable to spend every single dime they have on one game, because that's clearly how running a bussiness works. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

(Note a lot of this is directed more at the fandom as whole, and how I've percieved this situation being someone who hasn't played Pokemon since Emerald. A lot of it isn't directed at you.)

Actually, Game Freak made comments after Breath of the Wild about how it had “inspired” the next Pokémon game. That seems to imply such a promise to me, and that’s how most who heard that took it.

Well it would be on you for getting your hype levels too high. This is a company that exclusively makes portable games leaping onto the switch...the game was never gonna be this massive amazing open world pipedream, and if you went into expecting that than that's on you.

Sun Nov 10 19 12:30pm
Rating: 1

Ok...now gamefreak has done it. Let's see if the catchphrase gotta catch them all is still relevant.

That only existed in the US and there's a reason Ruby and Sapphire quietly erased it from the game's boxes (they used to be on there before launch but then they scrubbed it)

No shit. When armchair developers claim that GF is lazy for doing a monumental development task that other game developers have noted would be taxing even for them, and when GF also noted that this was their only way to get the games to have more content than they used to since they kept cutting out content they wanted to put in due to retaining all the mons, this is an inevitable decision.

It's just going to be a rotation like with any other game, except this time there are no alien mons to the region. Considering USUM had a bit over 400 mons, the only difference between these games and those is that the mons that aren't in the local dex just don't exist here, while in USUM they did but had barely any purpose due to not having a dex entry or really being VGC legal unless it was a special one.

TBH, I've noticed Nintendosoup in particular and NinEverything have kinda jumped on the train of "get all the old interviews we can and translate them at the right time to stir up outrage", since I noticed that NS loves to try and get people mad by reporting these things. It's blatant that this article is from a while ago (I know they already noted this fact a few months ago) yet they just now translated it for the sake of the launch week rage clicks

Here's my problem with the official explanation: The Pokemon Company generated $3 billion in sales last year. I realize that's not all profit, and that Game Freak is not owned directly by TPC. My point is that if TPC (and Nintendo) wanted to invest some of that money into a bigger development team, to allow for a full national PokeDex, it could. It chose not to. It's wagering that a very vocal fan base will still buy the game, in addition to millions of parents who don't know anything about the Dex.

Any business problem can be solved with sufficient funds. Game Freak can only work with whatever budget TPC and Nintendo set for it. I don't blame Game Freak, but I do blame TPC and Nintendo for being tight-fisted with this. They could do it right, and tell fans "Okay, we hear you, and we'll add the rest of the missing Pokemon at a later date." But Nintendo and TPC are choosing to make a business decision, and not a fan-friendly decision.

TL;DR Nintendo, TPC, and Game Freak don't owe us anything. and if you don't like the decision, don't buy the game. (Or better yet: buy a used copy.)

$3 Billion in revenue doesn't mean they can or should sink $3 billion into developing one game. If the company prefers to put smaller amounts of money into their games that's their choice.

While I do agree with you on how TPC is no doubt pushing a yearly marketing cycle, I don't think throwing more people on the teams will magically fix stuff: SWS has 1000 people including PR folks, and that's double Sun and Moon. They put quite a bit into the games as is, but they aren't millions and millions to make either. They stick to a simple budget because the simple art style is what they like doing and have been used to for years now. But even if they added 4000 people to the games it doesn't mean the national dex will return:

The task is agonizing and if Gen 9 makes it a main focus again, we'll just get XY 2 in that the main game and postgame has barely anything to do, instead focusing on the battle engine and VGC balancing. I'd honestly take a more memorable region and game than just one that has all the mons in it by this point.

It's pretty freaky when you think about how 10 years ago, we had 493 Pokemon in HGSS, and now we have about double that... I think if the Pokemon count ranges from 350-500 in each local dex we'll be able to get more meaningful content again or at least a game people will want to replay instead of having it be the yearly game to ignore the next.

Sun Nov 10 19 03:56pm
Rating: 1

Flatly inexcusable. Pokemon is the second biggest franchise in the world. The game looks like a mess. If they spent half of the effort actually developing the damn game as they did defending it online then maybe there wouldn't be an issue. They're being cheap with this game and hoping it rides on name recognition, seemingly not connecting the fact that when you do that it makes the brand look bad.

Man these comments sections just keep getting worse.

When I hear this statement, it actually makes me feel pretty confident about the games. GameFreak is sticking with the formula because they're confident in the results it gave for Sword and Shield, and for the things they want to do with the series in the future. Anyone who thinks that GameFreak and the Pokemon company didn't put a LOT of thought into how this was received is kidding themselves. You really think if it was as easy as the armchair devs online say it is that GameFreak would have gotten rid of the Pokemon and risked dividing the fanbase this much?

Clearly game development is a LOT more complicated than people realized, and there are clearly a lot of discussions about how to move forward with the future of the series. I'm really tired of the armchair developers screaming about it when all they think about is models and animations, if you've ever played Pokemon you realize that there's so much more that goes into designing a single Pokemon than just models and animations. Also the whole "but the models were futureproofed" thing is so incredibly overblown, there's a lot more work that has to be done even with models that are future proofed, that's only one step of the process.

Not just that but actual competent developers with impressive backlogs have come out and pointed out that this clearly isn't laziness and people terribly oversimplify the process.

The current model of supporting every Pokemon is unsustainable, and it still blows my mind that so many people fail to look to the future and also look back at why the past few entries of the series have been more controversial with fans.

But hey whatever, call me a shill or whatever you angry people do. Clearly my positive opinion doesn't matter.

There is a Native American fable in which Coyote, cold and hungry in the winter, asks his friend Kingfisher if he has any food. Kingfisher climbs a tree, dives into a pond through a hole in the ice, and, a few moments later, emerges back up with a fish, which he gives to Coyote. As Coyote is eating, he sees Kingfisher climb the tree again, dive down again, and acquire another fish, this one for himself. Coyote, wanting to try it too, climbs the tree and dives down, but he misses the hole and hits his head on the ice. Coyote is in pain but otherwise okay, and in the meantime, Kingfisher has gotten two more fish, one of which he shares with Coyote.

The lesson in this story is to not underestimate the difficulty of someone else's work, because it will always look easier from the outside.


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