Pokémon developer Game Freak has been fighting against criticism from fans ever since they announced that the upcoming games, Pokémon Sword and Shield wouldn’t allow players to record any previous generation Pokémon in the Pokédex. The studio’s highly unpopular decision led to accusations of laziness. This also sparked a rumor in the Pokémon community that Game Freak was using recycled 3D models from recent 3DS games in order to cut down on production costs.
Game Freak’s response:
In response to the backlash, the game’s developers have confirmed that claims of Pokémon Sword and Shield recycling 3DS models are false. A recent interview with Famitsu surfaced on social media and in the Pokémon subreddit. It revealed that the in-game models and animations for Pokémon Sword and Shield were all built from scratch. And this became a deciding factor to not include all Pokémon in the game through the National Dex.
Game Freak’s Junichi Masuda (producer of Pokémon Sword and Shield) and Shigeru Ohmori (director) said that it was already difficult enough to bring all 809 Pokémon in Sun and Moon for 3DS. They also added that it was difficult to import hundreds of previous Pokémon from a 3DS title to the Switch. The Switch’s improved graphics and visual fidelity have since lengthened the development time necessary to render Pokémon, they explained. There are over 1,000 different Pokémon now – including form changes. The decision for Sword and Shield was to make sure all of the selected Pokémon stand out with the games’ new graphics engine.
What Shigeru Ohmori’s said:
“This decision is personally sad,” Ohmori said (via IGN). “Of course, I wanted to be able to bring all Pokémon if I could do it, but it was also a decision that I had to make someday. In the end, I had no choice but to choose the quality.”
It is also worth noting that there were likely other elements that limited what they could do, including introducing features such as Gigantamax and Dynamax versions of Pokémon. The Sword version has Zacian while the Shield version of the game features Zamazenta. When it comes to the matter of adding subsequent Pokémon in post-launch updates, Game Freak says that they are considering the idea, but are undecided at the moment.
Fans will be able to purchase Pokémon Sword & Shield on November 15 for the Nintendo Switch.
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