Nintendo Nintendo Switch Pokemon

Junichi Masuda issues statement on changes to Pokemon Sword & Shield

Mr. Masuda has issued a statement today on the company’s controversial decision to remove the National Pokedex in the upcoming Pokemon Sword & Shield for Nintendo Switch. He stated in his message that it was a “very difficult” decision, though he and the rest of the team have been “pouring our hearts into these games.” Despite the fact that every Pokemon won’t be included, he did say that they may appear in future games.

“Thank you to all of our fans for caring so deeply about Pokémon. Recently, I shared the news that some Pokémon cannot be transferred to Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. I’ve read all your comments and appreciate your love and passion for Pokémon.

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.

The world of Pokémon continues to evolve. The Galar region offers new Pokémon 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.”

June 28, 2019

Junichi Masuda



  1. Basically, there is now officially far to many Pokémons for them to cram into a game, either they sacrifice quality or they create a massive game no Switch could handle with the massive amount of data it would take to add 1,000+ Pokémons with 2,000+ unique animations and 1,000+ unique Pokémon cry sounds and the amazing graphics detailing and programming added to this game, it be insanely difficult to pull off and no cartridge can hold that much data and even digital it be far to big for a Switch to fit in. Like it or not, the cuts had to be made and this will not be the first time, is time to be real, be reasonable, and accept it!

    1. I mean yeah that’s how it should be. But have you seen the “animations” or the graphics? It’s really not up to standard with how “it should be”.

      Hopefully they’ll use these five months wisely, but if they thought the game was good enough to show off now, I don’t think it’s looking too gkod

    2. So the last game to include all the pokemon was on the 3ds (Not sure if Let’s Go could or not). The 3DS game cartridge had between 128Mb and 8Gb of data. Let’s take the worst case scenatio: They’re adding at most 200 more pokemon. And up until now there’s been 807. That’s at most a 25% increase. So let’s assume Ultra Moon took up the entirety of that 8Gb card. That means to add in 200 more (which is a high estimate), they’d need a 10Gb cartridge. The nintendo switch cartridge has up to 32Gb of space. This isn’t about space on the cartridge.

      1. Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon are 3.6GB. With higher quality assets the Switch games are likely to be larger, but as you say the problem is definitely not in technological limitations. The problem is more likely that they need to get the game out before the holidays to please investors, and thus they sacrifice quality to get it done faster.

      2. Yeah i have to empty out some of my memory that i had over the years on my Nintendo 3DS because i didn’t know that Pokemon Ultra Sun and Moon will be a huge file in the E-shop Store. Right now, your saying that they won’t include more new Pokemon in this new generation. is that it? is that why we didn’t get 1st gen pokemon in the last generation?

    3. They could definitely include all the Pokemon in the game. Animations and graphics are not at all limiting the amount of Pokemon especially since they always reuse their models. The only limiting factor is the amount of time and resources they would have to put in to it. Gamefreak aren’t really known to be the best developers so it would probably take too much time.

    4. Hey my Nintendo mod can you delete this reply. I was gonna write a different reply on someone comment. I already comment on this article with the same sentences. I was gonna write a different comment on this user reply. Can you delete it please?

    5. I am reasonable. I’m more than willing for them to add the others later, perhaps even making the national dex paid DLC. What’s not reasonable is the supreme laziness exhibited by the company at the moment.

    6. Yeah. I thought so too. So, i don’t think we will be seeing Pokemon from past generations for a while after this game gets release worldwide. Since they are testing for bugs, we might get an update once we get the game in November. Nintendo Switch has some limitations in the hardware to the game’s graphics and data system. Since Masuda decided to leave some pokemon and stuff out behind the game development, then i can’t argue with that statement. We understand his decision.

      1. no the plan is going forward to rotate who is left out, not add everything later. Also this had nothing to do with the system not being capable, it was that they cited greater development time costs to make stuff up to snuff because it was more powerful, except all their models were supposedly future proofed and pokemon is one of the biggest franchises in the world

    7. This is completely incorrect.

      Think about it: the majority of these same models and animations fit on 3DS cartridges and ran reasonably well on the 3DS, even in 2013. Switch is far more powerful and capacious in every conceivable way. Moreover, the amount of work required isn’t an argument because the vast majority of returning assets you mention — unique models, sounds, and animations — are simply recycled from those older games. “Amazing graphics detailing and programming added” — citation needed. On the contrary, technically speaking, these games are inferior to nearly every other first party Switch game; and we haven’t seen anything at all that should constitute a steep implementation challenge for experienced programmers backed by the highest-grossing media franchise on the planet (ftr I’m a programmer with a computer science degree and not just pulling that claim out of my butt).

      Make no mistake, nothing we’ve seen so far comes even close to justifying this decision. It’s a completely arbitrary decision that absolutely could be reversed before launch (without crunch-time) if Masuda desired; the fact that he’s decided to double-down on the decision says a lot about where the company’s heart is.

    8. Absolutely wrong. Ultra Sun/Moon proves you wrong. There are 800+ pokemon, with z-moves, megas, formes and better attack animations. All while being under 4GB. From the looks of it theyre already using the same models(as the 3DS models were very very high poly hence the massive fps drops) with a touch up texture wise. Its absolutely laziness 100% the animations are really sup-par and the graphics look worse than 3DS. All whilst scrapping a lot of pokemon, z-moves and megas and formes. This is a very mediocre game from the biggest entertainment franchise in the world and no we are not “entitled” but I am allowed to say what is worth my money and what is not and give valid criticism where its due.

    9. Even if they were able to get every Pokemon in the game, it wouldnt be as enjoyable if the game is short like X and Y were. And a lot of the better Pokemob dont even come in until you deeper in the game like on level 50 or so with 6 or 7 badges.

  2. Well they will continue to include Pikachu in every generation since he is the company mascot. I guess we won’t be seeing many Pokemon from past generations for a while after this game. I guess he made this decision when the game begin development following the completion of Pokemon Sun & Moon. I fear the game won’t be looking good at all once it gets released.

  3. Personally, I would have been happy if they had included Gen 1-3 and a handful of new Pokemon. I rather felt that Pokemon was getting too out here when they made a chandelier a Pokemon.
    I’d also like to say that Pokemon REALLY needs to become an MMORPG. With over 1000 Pokemon to capture and raise, X and Y forms to unlock (although that feature is not in the newest game) and now giant oversized Pokemon that require multiple trainers to fight, the game is just too big for a single player experience.

  4. It had to happen at some point, I guess. The only Pokemon that will probably get cut are the more obscure and unpopular ones, so not a big deal to me.

  5. Fact is: if they are building pokemon animations from ground up, of course it is too much work for the team. I read so many people comparing the games with BotW, but you forget that the Zelda team didn’t have to animate over 1000 completely different pokemon in the most different attacks and movements, positions, sizes, overworld, battle etc. Also I’m not sure how prepared/experienced the Pokemon team is for developing games in such an environment. Pokémon Let’s Go was definitely a way for them to learn and Sword and Shield will be as well.

    Me as a long time fan personally would be happy if they stop focusing on creating new Pokémon for a while and focus more on enhancing the mechanics. I’m sure the transition won’t be easy, we need to be more supportive and patient

    1. There’s no defending this. I’m a fan too but I’m not going to become an apologist for a company that only wants my money making the tiniest effort possible. If they were really working on improvements then supporting them would be guaranteed, but there are no improvements at all, on the contrary, they are cutting corners everywhere.

      The thing everyone should be aware off is that pokemon SS developers are not doing anything from the ground up. You can clearly see on the treehouse footage they are reusing the same models and animations, heck, I bet even some of the new characters and trainers are reskinned. They only need to make the map and the 70+ confirmed new pokemon, nothing else.

      The real reason the game is so subpar on quality and the national dex debacle is that they have to please their investors and release on a short time without polish, that and a lack of assigned resources to development (half of their workforce is developing Town). At this point, it will be no surprise the real reason the game is cutting corners is that they don’t want to use a cart bigger than 8gbs.

      People will receive the most washed out experience on this franchise yet but every “fan” is defending them just because they will be happy whit anything at all just to scratch their pokemon itch. That’s what makes this more sad and hard to bear as a real fan.

  6. I’d be okay with them creating all new models for all the Pokemon with more animations than what they did on the handhelds & even be okay with only a few older Pokemon being added to the game ONLY if it means they’d slowly add the other Pokemon to the game with new models & animations through monthly patches. But according to this, they won’t even add the older Pokemon missing from this game into it through patches over the next year. Instead, we won’t see the other Pokemon missing from these entries & will only see them in future entires after Sword/Shield. *facepalm*

    However, I’ll let this all slide if they eventually have every single older Pokemon on a future Pokemon game with new models & animations. Which means the next games after Sword/Shield should not, I repeat, should not use Pokemon that were already given new models & animations in the game before it (so if Pikachu or Eevee are in Sword/Shield, they should not reappear in the games after til every other Pokemon has new models), so the next game can work on giving the legacy Pokemon that don’t have new models & animations their own. That way at some point, they will have all the work done on all 800+ Pokemon for a future entry & can thus add them all into the game. If those future games requires 50-100gb to support all 1000+ Pokemon plus the new ones, so be it.

    All that said, it was only a matter of time before Pokemon releasing a new game every 3 years with 100+ new Pokemon over the last 20 years would come to bite them in the ass when the number of Pokemon got too big. Basically, GameStop needs to stop churning out new Pokemon games every 3 years with 100+ new Pokemon. Release a new entry every 5-10 years instead because Pokemon is becoming too big for it’s own good.

  7. This is ridiculous, Gamefreak get your crap together. Gamefreak obviously is not putting Pokemon first, the E3 trailer wasnt as was all put together as it should be. Gamefreak seems to be lazy, they didnt seem to want to publish or develope for the Switch in the first place.

  8. Still have it preordered. Over something as minor as not being able to insta-complete my national dex as soon as pokemon home drops months after the game comes out, it’s just not worth getting this salty about imo.

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