Previously, we learned that not all Pokemon would be eligible for transfer into Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield. Now, a new interview for the game has shed light on just how many of the monsters we can expect in the eighth generation of the Pokemon franchise.
Game director Shigeru Ohmori and producer Junichi Masuda were both interviewed at this year’s E3 by Famitsu. In the interview, Masuda notes the franchise being on Switch has put more expectations on the visuals being prettier, thus work on the visuals has increased.
Coming from this, as the series now has over 1,000 Pokemon, improving visuals for them all, as well as balancing them all, has become very difficult. As such, it will be increasingly harder to include every Pokemon ever in Sword and Shield, as well as in future titles. It remains unclear how many Pokemon won’t be included from the get-go.
Ohmori noted it was barely possible to include every Pokemon in Pokemon Sun & Moon, and they had to make a decision. Ohmori said despite this the Wild Areas and the story bits will have a lot of content to make up for not every Pokemon being included. It’s not decided whether or not Pokemon will be added in future updates.
To offset Pokemon not being included in the beginning, Game Freak is planning on making them appear in future titles moving forward, via Pokemon Home. As such, the team doesn’t want players to feel like their older Pokemon are worthless. The team is also considering reusing new graphics used for Pokemon in Sword and Shield, but again, this would mean more work.
Overall, the team is looking to bring in Pokemon via Pokemon Home, and not straight up visual/balancing updates, should they fit the new games. Masuda noted they’re also trying to add some gameplay elements to Pokemon Home. The team is also considering bringing Pokemon to spinoff titles, from Pokemon Home.
Pokemon Sword and Shield is launching for Nintendo Switch on November 15th, 2019.