Game Freak isn't recycling 3DS models in Pokémon Sword and Shield after all

Developer says all models have been made from scratch.

As Game Freak continues to battle criticism from Pokmon fans unhappy that Pokmon Sword and Pokmon Shield won’t support every single Pokmon species, speculation that the Pokdex has been truncated because the studio was “recycling” models from the newer 3DS games has seemingly been proven untrue.

As Wes reported last week, earlier this month it emerged Sword and Shield – which pushes the series’ overall Pokmon count to over 1000 – won’t let you catch all the Pokmon, nor will you be able to transfer Pokmon outside of the games’ regional Pokdex making Sword and Shield the first new, mainline Pokmon games not to support every single Pokmon species.

Now, however, a month-old Japanese-language interview with Famitsu (thanks, Polygon) has brought to light confirmation that the developer is indeed creating the creatures from scratch, but better graphics and newer mechanics such as Mega Evolution meant the team felt it had no choice but to curtail the Pokdex in order to maintain “quality”.

Game Freak’s Junichi Masuda and Shigeru Ohmori purportedly said that given the Switch’s improved graphics it was difficult enough to bring the full Pokdex to Pokmon Sun and Moon in 2016, let alone do so now with Pokmon Sword and Pokmon Shield.

“Of course, I wanted to be able to bring all Pokemon if I could do it,” Ohmori said at the time, according to Google translate. “But it was also a decision that I had to make some day. In the end, I had no choice but to choose the quality.”

In a rare public comment to fans last week, Masuda addressed the “love and passion for Pokmon”, and moved to reassure concerned fans that “even if a specific Pokmon is not available in Pokmon Sword and Pokmon Shield, that does not mean it will not appear in future games”.

“Thank you to all of our fans for caring so deeply about Pokmon,” he said. “Recently, I shared the news that some Pokmon cannot be transferred to Pokmon Sword and Pokmon Shield. I’ve read all your comments and appreciate your love and passion for Pokmon. Just like all of you, we are passionate about Pokmon and each and every one of them is very important to us. After so many years of developing the Pokmon video games, this was a very difficult decision for me. I’d like to make one thing clear: even if a specific Pokmon is not available in Pokmon Sword and Pokmon Shield, that does not mean it will not appear in future games.”

Chris Tapsell went hands-on with Pokmon Sword and Pokmon Shield at E3 2019, and spotted two all-new Pokmon.

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