During an E3 live stream this month, developer Game Freak confirmed that Sword and Shield will be the first main entry in the series that doesn’t include every Pokémon.
Almost every other main Pokémon RPG has a regional Pokédex – which contains all the new Pokémon for that game’s region – and a National Dex, which includes every single Pokémon, including those from previous releases (the Pokémon Sun and Moon games have no National Dex but still support transferring all Pokémon into the game)
This time, however, Sword and Shield will only have a single Pokédex for the game’s Galar region, and while it will include some older Pokémon it won’t feature them all.
“The total number of Pokémon has exceeded 1,000, including new and existing Pokémon. As a result, it has become extremely difficult to make Pokémon with a new personality play an active part and to balance them, both in terms of graphical quality and also in terms of battle,” he said.
“That is the reason for this decision, and we have decided that it is difficult to make all Pokémon appear in future works.
“This decision is personally sad,” he added. “Of course, I wanted to be able to bring all Pokemon if I could do it, but it was also a decision that I had to make some day. In the end, I had no choice but to choose quality.”
Masuda said that Game Freak is still undecided if it will add more Pokémon to Sword and Shield via future updates.
The new cloud service app will enable players to manage their Pokémon collection across multiple games.
Programmer and director Masayuki Onoue recently told VGC that Game Freak is increasingly prioritising original game creation, in order to grow the experience of its staff.