As most have heard, Game Freak announced during the Nintendo Treehouse Live event that not all Pokémon will transfer from previous games into Pokémon Sword and Shield. This statement has inevitably caused most of the fan base to divide into two camps: those who have accepted the decision, and those who have decided to bolster their unhappiness with the decision in protests. Now, if you’re an avid player of the Pokémon franchise (which I assume you are since you decided to read this article), then it should come as no surprise as to why this controversy arose. Up until recently, Game Freak has always supported the ability to bring Pokémon from previous generations into the most current games. Whether it came via elaborate minigames or Pokémon Bank, the option was always there.
Now, I’m not going to try and force my opinion on the matter onto you. I know it would come across as pointless to some of you. No, what I want to do is provide a look into each side of the argument. By doing so, I hope that those of you who read this will gain some insight into why some of your fellow community members feel the way they do. Pokémon fans undoubtedly have some of the fieriest passion that I’ve ever seen, so it’s only logical that some of that passion can convert into toxicity when controversy rolls around the corner. I believe everyone has the right to his or her opinions and beliefs, but I also believe that one must know both stances in any debate. With all that said, let’s begin.
“Limited Pokémon Transferring? That Sucks, But It’s Fine”
Let me clear something up from the start: everyone is upset about limited Pokémon transferring. No matter how you slice it, using Pokémon from previous games brings joy to many players. I think that’s one component that upset fans tend to overlook. Those who defend the decision to not support every Pokémon in Sword and Shield don’t support the idea, rather they can understand the basis of the decision.
This shouldn’t come to any surprise, but game development doesn’t happen over night. Developers spend hours and hours imputing code, creating animations, and perfecting gameplay mechanics so that their games come out as perfect as possible. It makes sense that sacrifices would come from creating what seemingly looks like the most ambitious Pokémon games yet. I know that some might think that Game Freak could just delay the games to work on supporting all Pokémon, but it’s not that simple. While this could work for other highly anticipated games, Pokémon has evolved into more than just the games. There’s the anime, the card game, merchandise, etc. Every aspect of the franchise connects and intertwines, therefore any delay in one part causes delays in others. This results in a heavy deadline that ultimately goes beyond what the developers want.
Speaking of what the developers want, Game Freak have stated in multiple interviews that they wanted Sword and Shield to have the most content of any mainline game. With the expansive over-world of the Wild Area and the exciting Max Raid Battles, I’m inclined to believe them. Due to this, less time was spent on animating and balancing Pokémon, something that has become an ever-growing task over the years. As more and more Pokémon enter the series, the physical and technical demands to support all of them grows higher. It makes sense that we would eventually hit the limit in how many Pokémon could reasonably fit into a game. I don’t know about you, but if I had to choose, I would always pick more content and a decent amount of Pokémon any day.
“Limited Pokémon Transferring?! Blasphemy!!”
Pokémon has become something very interesting over the years. While it may seem like a simple game with digital creatures to some, true fans see it as more. Some of our greatest memories come from these fictional beasts. We grow attachments to these Pokémon that transcend beyond a game. They help us through hard times and provide some of the greatest entertainment we’ll ever have. We form a bond with Pokémon, so it only makes sense that we want to keep them with us. Now imagine one day you were told that your special Pokémon couldn’t join you on your latest adventure. How would you feel? Probably not great. Now that feeling has come to pass for many with the recent transfer limitations. In a way, a majority of players equate this to losing a part of themselves.
Thankfully, Game Freak doesn’t plan on leaving all our past Pokémon in the dust. With the recently announced Pokémon Home, previous generation Pokémon can transfer from older games to the new app. While this does give us fans something, it doesn’t replace having your Pokémon in your current game. Developers have mentioned that non-transferable Pokémon will have prominent roles in Pokémon Home. As to what that means, we have no idea. It could mean some sort of gameplay will exist in the app, or it could imply something completely different. Only time will tell. Regardless, this won’t fill the void some feel about not having their favorite Pokémon with them.
Let’s Be Civil About It
There you have it. Both sides of what could possibly be the biggest controversy in Pokémon. With a look at both ends of the spectrum, I hope you can become well informed and move on from there. With that in mind, let’s not go overboard. I know many of you out there feel strongly on the issue and want change, and that’s perfectly fine. However, remember to go about it in a positive manner. Nothing comes from bringing hate to the opposing view or the developers themselves. If you want to make a difference, the best way would come from expressing your concern in a calm and civilized manner. I can’t guarantee what outcome will occur, but i can assure you that your chances are better this way.
How do you feel about the new Pokémon transfer limitations? Do you think future support will come? Let us know in the comments below! For more content, check out our article on Speculating Final Two Smash Ultimate characters or our article about The Mega Man Level Creator That Almost Existed. Otherwise, keep it on Culture of Gaming for all things gaming!
Oscar is a writer for Culture of Gaming. He is an aspiring video game journalist that follows anything and everything Nintendo. His favorite franchises consist of Pokemon and Kingdom Hearts.