We’re now a week out from the launch of Pokemon Sword and Shield, which are scheduled to launch on the Nintendo Switch on November 15th. What should be an exciting launch has been marred with controversy, as a number of leaks have indicated major cuts to the Pokedex in Pokemon Sword and Shield. A number of longtime fans of the franchise seem to take issue with that, leading to conversations about Sword and Shield that are dominated by talk of the incomplete national Pokedex.
The Pokemon Company revealed today that a previously-scheduled launch event for Pokemon Sword and Shield will no longer be happening. The event was scheduled to happen on November 15th at the Sunshine City Fountain Square in Ikebukuro, Tokyo. The company said that the event has been cancelled due to “operational reasons,” but didn’t clarify beyond that.
While we don’t know what “operational reasons” means in this instance, there’s plenty of speculation online that the event was cancelled to avoid blowback from fans who are upset over Game Freak’s decision to cut Pokemon from the game.
This is the first time Game Freak has made a decision like this, as all previous mainline games included all the Pokemon up until the time of release. When the news first broke, Game Freak defended the decision by saying that cutting Pokemon was something that needed to happen sooner or later, not only because of the sheer number of Pokemon but also because of the balancing issues that surface when taking all of them into account.
Whether or not the cancellation of this event has anything to do with the potential for blowback from upset fans is obviously unknown, and we doubt Game Freak will elaborate on its reasons at any point in the future. Still, with outrage over the Pokedex being sparked all over again thanks to a recent set of leaks, it wouldn’t be all that shocking to hear that the folks at The Pokemon Company want to avoid hosting events that could turn sour quickly.