In a statement published on Pokemon.com on June 28th, Junichi Masuda addressed the recent fan outrage about the removal of the National Pokedex in Pokemon Sword and Shield. Masuda’s statement has received mixed reception online, with some fans agreeing, while others have described the statement as “tonedef” and indicative of greater problems with the main series games. If you’re unfamiliar with the situation we suggest reading this article first: Not All Previous Generation Pokémon Will Be Available in Pokémon Sword and Shield.
We’re sharing the statement in full length:
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
As expected, fans did not take this response lightly, with several lengthy reddit threads popping up on day one. We do not enjoy sharing online drama, especially when it comes to people like Junichi Masuda, who was hospitalized by workload during Generation III game development.
Reminder that Masuda was hospitalized by the workload he took on to 'save Pokémon' with Gen III. That Ohmori has tweeted that he's been working on and thinking about Galar so much that he goes home and still dreams about it. You can argue about priorities, but they are not lazy.
— PLDH ⚔️🛡️ (@PLDHnet) June 28, 2019
From our end, the sentiment remains the same: Pokemon as a game series will always continue to evolve and there will always be something that will upset someone. Maintaining a roster of 800+ characters in any game seems unreasonable at a certain point.
The statement that was shared on Pokemon.com could have been more concrete rather than emotional, as it will not help with the fan backlash in any capacity. Masuda and others working on the game are undoubtedly passionate about the game and the Pokemon franchise overall.
We’ll continue to monitor this situation and update you accordingly. Pokemon Sword and Shield will be released on November 15 2019 and you are already available for preorder.