Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Real Reason Fans Are Upset About Pokemon Sword And Shield

"Gotta catch 'em all!" has been as much Pokemon's tagline over the years as it's been a challenge: play all the games, catch all the little monsters you can, and raise an army of adorable little fighters to use in the latest Pokemon adventure. But Pokemon Sword and Shield have come under fire as of late, and it has to do with the inclusion of older Pokemon in the games.


When Pokemon Sword and Shield arrive this November, neither will include the full collection of Pokemon from past titles. Not only that, you won't be able to import the Pokemon you've collected from other Pokemon games, either. This has fans in a tizzy, as it means the work they've done building out their Pokedexes over the past two decades won't mean a thing in Sword and Shield. And all the outrage that came as a result of that news? Well, it was enough to get the attention of Game Freak, the studio behind Pokemon, which sent Pokemon series producer Junichi Masuda out to issue an apology of sorts.

"Thank you to all our fans for caring so deeply about Pokemon," Masuda said. "Recently, I shared the news that some Pokemon cannot be transferred to Pokemon Sword and Shield. I've read your comments and appreciate your love for Pokemon."


At this point, you can probably tell that this isn't going to go the way fans want. Masuda continued.

"Just like all of you, we are passionate about Pokemon and each and every one of them is very important to us," he said. "After so many years of developing the Pokemon video games, this was a very difficult decision for me. I'd like to make one thing clear: even if a specific Pokemon is not available in Pokemon Sword and Shield, that does not mean it will not appear in future games."

Or, to put it bluntly: Game Freak hears you, but it's not changing anything. Your favorite Pokemon might not be in Sword and Shield, but it could come back someday. Maybe.

Game Freak has long been accused of playing favorites when it comes to Pokemon, and this decision definitely won't help matters. Even if you aren't a hardcore Pokemon Master, you can probably name a few that the studio has always kept at the forefront. Pikachu just got its own movie, for crying out loud. Jiggypuff has been a fixture in the Super Smash Bros. series for years. It would be kind of shocking if you didn't see those two Pokemon end up in Sword and Shield.

But what of some of the less popular Pokemon? Sorry to say, but if you've been eagerly waiting to bust out your Yungoos against some of the Galar region's best trainers, you might not get that opportunity. If Gothita has been your go-to, you might have to reshuffle your team. Pokemon Sword and Shield will introduce a number of brand new Pokemon, and that undoubtedly means that some of the lesser known monsters from past titles might not make the cut.


Masuda finished with this.

"The world of Pokemon continues to evolve," he said. "The Galar region offers new Pokemon to encounter, Trainers to battle, and adventures to embark on. We are pouring our hearts into these games, and we hope you will look forward to joining us on this new journey."

It remains to be seen which already-existing Pokemon will get the nod for Sword and Shield. But as angry as fans are about the limited Pokedex in the games, it's hard to imagine that many will be passing on Sword and Shield as a result. Think about it: these are the first traditional Pokemon games to be playable on a home console. The Galar region is the kind of open world fans have spent years begging for. And though you won't be able to bring every single past Pokemon into the game, there'll still be new ones to capture.

And if you're someone who cares about filling out your Pokedex now, that's not suddenly going to change with Sword and Shield. You're going to want to buy these games so that you can toss a Pokeball in the direction of a strange new monster you've never seen before.

You're going to want to "catch 'em all."

We'll keep you up to speed should any more news drop about Pokemon Sword and Shield