This is not new news—in fact it’s already almost a month old. Many fans haven’t read this Famitsu article however, which is why I’ve decided to do some new translations and hopefully share more of the thought process behind Pokémon Sword & Shield’s controversial choice to not include compatibility with all the species of Pokémon.
In an interview with Junichi Masuda and Shigeru Ohmori, Famitsu talks about the fervor caused by the comments at the E3 Treehouse presentation during which Masuda revealed the disheartening news.
After talking about how they wanted to focus on quality animations over quantity of Pokémon, Ohmori reveals that even during the production of Pokémon Sun & Moon it was difficult to animate all of the Pokémon and include them in their entirety. He goes on to say that since the hardware was changing for the next games they had to make remake all of the models (which could mean that they had to rework all of the 3DS models to properly work on the Switch). They were forced to make a choice of which Pokémon would be able to appear in Sword & Shield.
He goes on to state that he believes that once players experience the features in Sword & Shield, such as the Wild Area and story, they will understand the scope of the project and recognize why Game Freak had to limit how many Pokémon they included.
Masuda assured fans that they were going to make great efforts to ensure that even if a Pokémon didn’t appear in Sword and Shieldthey would appear in an upcoming title. And no matter what, Pokémon HOME would be available for them while they wait.
When asked whether or not Pokémon who appear in Sword & Shield would be able to appear in future titles since their models had already been complete, Masuda answered that the team was still looking into the possibilities. He went on to say that battle mechanics such as Mega Evolution and Dynamaxing that affected many Pokémon would be difficult to implement, even if the graphical work had already been done.
Masuda continued that he hopes HOME will truly be viewed as such, with Pokémon taking trips out to certain titles, but returning to the app for storage. If a Pokémon isn’t compatible with a game that, for example, had a cold atmosphere that didn’t suit them it might be like them saying, “This place is too cold! I’m going to sit this one out.”
He also said that they wanted to add features to HOME that allow you to do things with your Pokémon even if they’re simply being stored in the app. He also teased the possibility of adding HOME compatibility with spin-off titles by saying the team was already thinking about it and would likely consider it in the future.
The rest of the interview just goes over features that were revealed last month, but some of the details above are important to keep in mind during discussions about the upcoming games.