They won’t change anything for the upcoming games but want fans to hold out hope for the future
Pokemon’s E3 appearance was somewhat marred by the news that the National Dex feature would not be returning to Sword and Shield, angering fans who want to catch ‘em all in the Galar region. The Pokémon Company has refrained from addressing any concerns until longtime producer Junichi Masuda published a statement on the official website Friday.
According to Masuda, he and the team have been reading the reactions, choosing to read things like the #bringbacknationaldex hashtag and “lazy dev” insults as “your love and passion for Pokémon.”
The meat of the blog post addresses their reasoning:
“Just like all of you, we are passionate about Pokémon and each and every one of them is very important to us. After so many years of developing the Pokémon video games, this was a very difficult decision for me. I’d like to make one thing clear: even if a specific Pokémon is not available in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, that does not mean it will not appear in future games.”
Masuda and other Gamefreak developers have previously stated in interviews that the decision to limit the number of Pokémon was one of necessity: updating animations and the world to fully realize the power of the Switch console meant balancing new and returning features. We recently detailed how the scope of Pokémon games, with ballooning numbers of catchable companions coupled with ever more sophisticated models, would inevitably force Gamefreak’s hand.
While Masuda’s comments may not stem all of the contentious conversation from fans, it acknowledges the legitimate disappointment many felt when they realized their longtime friends might not be able to join them for new adventures. Galar’s Pokédex hasn’t been fully revealed, but with 807 possible Pokémon, it’s anyone’s guess who will be returning in Sword and Shield. What’s clear is that Gamefreak will likely return to the feature, or something like it, in future instalments.