The latest episode of WayPoint Radio makes a rather bold claim about the current situation over at Game Freak, the developer behind the Pokemon series. In this episode, WayPoint’s Austin Walker claims that the morale of Game Freak employees is at an “all time low”, but he doesn't elaborate on why that is.
If morale is low, we can easily speculate as to why that is. Fans have been rallying against Pokemon Sword and Shield for quite some time now, as the decision to not include every Pokemon has not gone over well to say the very least. Obviously Game Freak's employees want to create an experience that fans will enjoy, and most Pokemon games are usually met with insane amounts of buzz before launch. That's still the case with Pokemon Sword and Shield, but it's not exactly positive buzz.
And with this subsequent announcement of PokeCo cancelling a launch event in Japan, would not be surprised if this was verified.
The Pokemon Company has cancelled a planned event celebrating the launch of Pokemon Sword and Shield. Earlier today, the Pokemon Company announced they were cancelling a planned commemorative event for the launch of Pokemon Sword and Shield at the Mega Tokyo Pokemon Center store. Game developers like Junichi Masuda and Shigeru Ohmori were due to attend the event, which was cancelled for "operational reasons." An apology was sent out via the Japanese Pokemon Twitter account and on the Pokemon Twitter account:
Some are speculating that the event was cancelled due to backlash surrounding Pokemon Sword and Shield, specifically concerning the game's lack of Pokemon. Unlike other Pokemon games, players can only transfer Pokemon into Pokemon Sword and Shield that can be found in the Galar region, meaning that potentially hundreds of Pokemon won't be included in the upcoming games. The development team of Pokemon Sword and Shield has been heavily criticized for this decision (which was made to allow for other features to be added to the game) and Masuda, the director of Game Freak, has even received death threats online. In light of a recent attack on Kyoto Animation that left dozens dead, it's possible that the Pokemon Company simply didn't want to risk putting fans and employees at harm given some of disproportionately negative reaction to the game.