Pokemon Sword and Shield: Is No News Good News?

November 15th, that is the day when Generation 8 of the Pokemon franchise hits the Nintendo Switch. At the time of writing that is less than three weeks away. So close in fact, that there should be tons of advertisements for it and the Pokemon Company, GameFreak and Nintendo should all be marketing it like wildfire. This is Pokemon’s main game debut on the console after all.

A quick peek at the Pokemon Company’s social shows the main cause for concern due to the lack of promotional material for the game. The company has spent most of this month playing up the Halloween theme with polls and Halloween related promotions. Lately, the biggest issue with this is what the company is still marketing the Pokemon Let’s Go games even a year after their release. When it comes to playing into the Halloween theme, what Pokemon city do most people remember as creepy? If you guessed Lavender Town from the Kanto region then you are correct. Now, this isn’t to be critical of their post or frame it as a negative towards them but most fans will agree that the original games made Lavender Town creepy. It was that 64-bit soundtrack with the high-pitches that made the hair on the back of your neck stand up, something the modern remake of that soundtrack cannot do. Instead of the post focusing mainly on the soundtrack by using the retro style or other modern variants, it was an old promotional piece of the game used exactly one year prior.

Pokemon tweet about Let’s Go featuring Lavender Town and promotion of a year old game.

The dates for the game’s launch were still there along with the text stating that is was not actual gameplay. Something that we commonly see in promotional content for games. Now the reason this can be seen as an issue is that the company is still marketing their old game despite having a newer one coming out right around the corner. There are also several other social media posts advertising the Let’s Go games, merchandise and former anime series like Ruby and Sapphire.

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While promoting these things is important and vital to their company, at the end of the day so is making a profit. Sword and Shield is the first-ever main series Pokemon game to be on a console platform, it is a really big deal and one that is sure to bring in a lot of revenue. But that is just the thing, why stop there? The company could be posting at least twice a week every week up to launch about the game to generate hype and turn potential customers into actual customers. There are so many people that are on the fence about these games because of the lack of information about them. We have been spoiled by so much information on prior games that we already knew the full product we were buying, there were no secrets or surprises for us to discover. GameFreak wants to change that by leaving the majority of the game up to us to discover. An admirable and respectable decision, but what if that plan did not work out the way they intended? That is the problem the game is currently facing. GameFreak has kept this linear focus on leaving everything up to the player to discover because they believe it will make for a better game but we are seeing people skeptical about the lack of knowing what to expect. This all started with the information the company has provided that they wanted to make some creative changes to the 24-year-old series.

 

 

The biggest change that has stirred a lot of controversies is that Pokemon Sword and Shield will not have the National Pokedex, not every Pokemon will be in the game. This caused mass hysteria followed by anger from parts of the community. GameFreak could have easily handled this situation by providing more information as to what Pokemon are not going to be in the game. This really shouldn’t be an element of surprise.

 

The other cause of concern that the lack of information has sparked is people wondering if Gigantamaxing is taking the place of evolution. The reasoning behind this comes from the game’s promotional material that showcases the mechanic being used on purely pre-evolved forms of Pokemon. What about Gigantamaxing the Pokemon’s final forms? It has also been a tradition to showcase the evolution paths for each of the starters, while they could be changing this to break free from that tradition it still has many people worried. Seeing the starters be Gigantamaxed makes people wonder if that is how they become stronger. While it would be nice to experience their evolutions on our own, many players feel that we should at least know their second evolutions. This small bit of information would also put that concern to rest.

Pokemon Sword and Shield

 

There was also supposed to be a small bit of information to be released earlier this week on October 27th via a Japanese show called Pokenchi. It was unclear whether there would be new information revealed or just a rehash of everything we have been given prior. It is unknown what was showcased due to it being solely directed to the Japanese market, we can assume that there was nothing new revealed. But that in itself creates a problem because even doing a quick Google search results in nothing. You will find some articles written about the coming announcement a week prior but then dead silence from October 27th to the present day. This is a huge problem because if anything it may have created more concern within the community with people wondering why there is no news about it.

 

The key takeaway from this is that The Pokemon Company is truly not paying attention to the community’s feedback. If they were then they would realize their marketing strategy is not working as intended and would have made changes to it. I strongly believe that if they just gave a little more information before launch that would ease the community’s concern and create more hype. I hope that once the month is over and their Halloween theme ends on their social media that they then take the final weeks before launch to really promote the game. Until then, I’d like to pass the question off to you, do you believe that no news is good news?

 

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