Pokemon Sword/Shield Creators Talk About The National Dex Backlash

Fewer Pokemon for a deeper experience.

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With Pokemon Sword and Shield less than a month away, developer Game Freak has been openly talking about the project in more depth. Several outlets recently interviewed lead producer Junichi Masuda and series director Shigeru Ohmori, and the topic of Sword and Shield's controversial lack of a National Pokedex inevitably came up.

Not every single Pokemon throughout the series' long history will be in Sword and Shield, which has caused quite the furore among a vocal section of the Pokemon fan base. "You see these sort of negative comments and it does, as a developer, make you feel a bit down about certain things," Masuda told Eurogamer when asked about the uproar. "But at the same time, you have to take criticism. For example with Pokemon Let's Go, early on there were a lot of comments that it was too easy, or it was kind of a bit too 'kid-focused' and that sort of thing. That sort of comment is something you see, and you take on board, and really try and base improvements in the next game on the feedback you received from the last one.

"So, with regards to the Pokedex issue in particular that you've mentioned, that was something that was a really hard decision internally, there were a lot of discussions about which direction we should take that in, and ultimately we felt that, for the overall game, focusing on creating the richest experience we could within that game, leaving the Pokedex as we did was the best solution overall."

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"For example, when we add new moves and abilities we create a deeper experience for everyone to enjoy. This time around we can also give people a greater attachment to the Pokemon that are in the game, which is something we think is very important. So we definitely--we don't have regrets about what we've done.

"In terms of having Pokemon that you had in previous games," Masuda continued, "we do have Pokemon Home that’s coming out--and that's another place where everyone can gather all their Pokemon from previous games and enjoy a different way of playing with them there."

Masuda expanded on this point, and the introduction of Pokemon Home, in another interview with Polygon. "I mean, from my perspective, it’s always been in the back of my mind that at some point we were going to have to not include all the Pokemon," he said. "One of the things we’ve tried to do this time around, and we don’t have a lot of details to share, but we’re introducing a cloud service called Pokemon Home and we really want to use that to kind of expand the Pokemon world, provide a place for players to be able to gather all of their Pokemon in one spot, do fun things, and also use it as a launching pad for different adventures and different games."

Pokemon Sword and Shield is set to launch November 15 for Nintendo Switch.

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