Junichi Masuda Affirms that Pokemon Cut from Sword and Shield Will Return

Pokemon Sword and Shield Producer Junichi Masuda explains why every Pokemon didn't make it into this game.

Even though Pokemon Sword and Shield are introducing some interesting new elements for the series, namely the open-ended wild areas and a vastly improved and customizable online suite, many fans are still hung up on the fact that not every Pokemon will be included in the National Dex of Pokemon Sword and Shield. Game Freak faced immense backlash after revealing this at E3, with some fans criticizing Sword and Shield’s sub-par appearance and circulating the #BringBackTheNationalDex hashtag.

In response, Producer Junichi Masuda issued a statement saying that Pokemon that didn’t make the cut this time around would return in the future. In a recent interview with Game Informer, he affirmed his previous statement and delved into why the developers made that decision.

Specifically, Masuda-san explains that “we’ve been proud we’ve been able to include so many Pokémon in the games, but as a result of that, there’s actually been quite a few features or gameplay ideas that we’ve had to abandon in the past. Going forward, thinking about the future of Pokémon, we want to prioritize all those new gameplay ideas, new ways to enjoy the game, and want to challenge ourselves at Game Freak to create new ways to enjoy the game. That’s really what drove the decision for this new direction.” Even though many fans are immensely displeased with this decision, Game Freak thinks “this was the best path forward for the franchise.”

Masuda-san also walked Game Informer through the complicated process of how Game Freak decided what Pokemon to bring over. “A wide variety of discussions happened; it’s not just one kind of criteria for deciding which Pokémon are going to appear in the games, but a lot of different reasons, a lot of different directions, a lot of debate over which ones would be the best in the game.” Pokemon that fit the game’s setting, among other things, apparently had the highest chances of getting in. “I think one example of that is figuring out the Pokémon that would make sense for the setting of the game the most; these Pokémon look like they could live in the Galar region. We really spent a lot of effort deciding which would best fit the setting of the adventure and the features that we wanted to implement.”

He concluded by affirming the fact that any cut Pokemon will come back in the future and highlighting that Pokemon Home is a key first step to that. “You can look forward to seeing Pokémon that don’t appear in these games appearing in different regions in future games. I think Pokémon Home, for a lot of players, will serve as a launching pad to gather them all there and then embark on future adventures. We’re really designing it as the place for all of your Pokémon together, so it’s really important for the future of the franchise, and it’ll be more than even Pokémon Bank as a place to gather all your Pokémon together in one spot.”

While Pokemon Home will not be launching until sometime in 2020, Pokemon Sword and Shield come out exclusively for Nintendo Switch on November 15 and can be pre-ordered on Amazon.

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Tomas Franzese

Tomas Franzese is a News Editor at DualShockers, writing a variety of reviews and shedding light on upcoming games for both PC and consoles. While he has been a gamer most of his life, he began writing for DualShockers in 2016 and has almost never put his computer or a controller down since.

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