The developers of Pokémon Sword & Shield will be bringing back some of the Pokémon that were cut from the Galar region, but not everyone is happy with this decision, as Junichi Masuda has responded to criticism of Game Freak’s choice to use paid DLC on social media.
Masuda is one of the founders of Game Freak and has worked on every mainline entry in the Pokémon series as either a composer, director, or producer. His most recent credit is as a producer on Pokémon Sword & Shield, and he was left with the unpleasant task of revealing #Dexit. Masuda unveiled that Pokémon Sword & Shield would not have a National Dex and that some of the Pokémon from the previous games would not be returning during the Nintendo Treehouse event at E3 2019. It has since been revealed that Pokémon Sword & Shield will be receiving paid DLC and that at least two hundred Pokémon will be returning over 2020 in free updates.
There are some people who are still not happy with Game Freak’s decision to cut Pokémon from Pokémon Sword & Shield. January 12 was Masuda’s 52nd birthday and he took to Twitter to respond to messages from fans. One irate individual messaged Masuda about Game Freak cutting Pokémon with the intention of selling them later as DLC. According to Video Games Chronicle, Masuda responded with “It’s a public holiday today and it’s my birthday, can you let me relax?”
Game Freak has taken a lot of flak since E3, as irate fans have been blasting the company on social media and even managed to get anti-Game Freak terms trending on Twitter. The company probably could have saved itself a lot of trouble if it had announced that more Pokémon were coming in free updates earlier, but even if it had, there is still no guarantee that all of them will be returning to Pokémon Sword & Shield in the future.
It can’t have been an easy decision to cut the National Dex, and the controversy surrounding it dominated the discourse leading up to the game. It’s rare for developers to directly respond to criticism like this on social media, especially in Japan, but it seems that Masuda is frustrated with all of the hate that Game Freak has been getting, especially on his birthday.
Pokemon Sword & Shield are available now on Nintendo Switch. The Isle of Armor will be available in June 2020, while The Crown Tundra will be available in Fall 2020. The Expansion Pass with both DLC costs $29.99/£26.99.
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