When Pokémon HOME was announced, it seemed like a great service that would let players send and deposit Pokémon to the upcoming games Sword & Shield. What wasn’t initially apparent was that the service wouldn’t let players bring in any of their Pokémon from past games if that species weren’t found in the pair of upcoming Nintendo Switch titles.
Many fans have expressed deep concern and frustration about this issue on social media after it was announced during E3’s Nintendo Treehouse with Junichi Masuda. Some hoped that it was a mistranslation (it wasn’t) or that support for all existing Pokémon would be added at some point in the future.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear Game Freak has intentions of loosening restrictions for bringing Pokémon to Sword and Shield. In an interview with USgamer Mr. Masuda states,
“There are a couple of different parts to the thinking behind it, but really the biggest reason for it is just the sheer number of Pokemon. We already have well over 800 Pokemon species, and there’s going to be more added in these games. And now that they’re on the Nintendo Switch, we’re creating it with much higher fidelity with higher quality animations. But even more than that, it’s coming down to the battle system. We’re making sure we can keep everything balanced and give all the Pokemon that appear in the games a chance to shine.
We knew at some point we weren’t going to be able to indefinitely keep supporting all of the Pokemon, and we just found that Sword and Shield would probably be a good point to go back and reevaluate what would be the best selection of Pokemon that appeal to the widest audience while keeping into consideration the balance of the battle system. It isn’t just going to be all-new Pokemon in the Galar region Pokedex; there’s still going to be a lot of favorites that fans will be able to bring over that they’ve adventured with previously. But yeah, it was pretty much just balancing and getting this optimal selection of Pokemon for the adventure we wanted to provide.“
This may be frustrating news for fans to read, but there are legitimate issues with preparing so many Pokémon models for each game’s release. Hopefully Game Freak can find a way to balance their work load and also satisfy fans.
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