The hype and exciting surrounding anything to do with the Pokemon brand is hard to overstate. The card game alone has shipped tens of billions of cards to millions of fans over the years. The video game franchises, anime and manga properties and merchandising have turned the Pocket Monsters into a genuine force in the entertainment industry, as well as a cultural touch stone that transcends generations.
So with the impending launch of the first mainline video game with Pokemon Sword and Shield on the Switch, there’s a lot riding on the success of this game. This is why Nintendo and Game Freak really have to pay attention to what fans and general consumers want out of the Switch iteration, and deliver on those desires as best they can.
This is why the limited Pokedex and the removal of Mega-Evolutions have the potential to sour said launch and turn hardcore fans against the game before it even launches. A lot of hardcore fans hated the last Switch Pokemon title, Let’s Go Eevee and Pikachu, citing feelings that it was more like Pokemon GO than a mainline entry.
And while fans wait for more news about the game, there is a glimmer of hope for the future. Pokemon producer Junichi Masuda did clarify that internally no decisions have been made that eliminate the possibility of future DLC for Pokemon Sword and Shield that would add new entries to the limited Pokemon roster, it’s not a hard confirmation that more options are coming. With only 150 Pokemon in the Galar Pokedex, there’s going to need to be serious work done to bring more monsters in, work that may not be possible.
There are more than 800 Pokemon across the eight generations of main RPG games to choose from, and Game Freak can only do so much with the team and resources that they have. So it remains unlikely that hundreds of new Pocket Monsters are coming to the Switch. We still could see an expansion of some kind which adds a few new areas to Galar, and maybe a new Gym Battle, but I doubt it would be anything more comprehensive than that. We could also possibly see a Safari Zone update of some kind where trainers can catch and battle iconic Pokemon from older generations.
Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield release on November 15 exclusively on the Nintendo Switch.