Longtime Pokémon director and producer Junichi Masuda has released a statement addressing the controversy surrounding the lack of a National Pokédex.
It was an easy to miss detail since it wasn’t exactly a promotional bullet point. But during E3 last month, Masuda confirmed that upcoming Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield would not support the full 800+ Pokémon National Dex, the first for a mainline Pokémon game.
Longtime Pokémon fans who have been importing their favorites for years were understandably disappointed. The furor has lasted for weeks since E3, prompting Masuda to release an official statement:
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 Swordand 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.
While the news is disappointing, the actual Galar Pokédex has not yet been announced. Currently we don’t know how many Pokémon will be included in Sword and Shield. Sword and Shield are also the first main new Pokémon games to appear on the Switch, outside of the traditional handheld consoles. We expect to see expanded and updated animations and models, and look forward to more Pokémon getting the same treatment in future Switch Pokémon games.
Pokémon Sword and Shield is out November 15 on Switch.