The Pokemon Company has cancelled a planned event celebrating the launch of Pokemon Sword and Shield. Earlier today, the Pokemon Company announced they were cancelling a planned commemorative event for the launch of Pokemon Sword and Shield at the Mega Tokyo Pokemon Center store. Game developers like Junichi Masuda and Shigeru Ohmori were due to attend the event, which was cancelled for "operational reasons." An apology was sent out via the Japanese Pokemon Twitter account and on the Pokemon Twitter account:
【お詫び】11月15日（金）にサンシャインシティ 噴水広場で予定していた『ポケモン ソード・シールド』発売記念イベントは、弊社運営上の都合で中止させていただくことになりました。楽しみにされていたお客様には多大なご迷惑をおかけしますこと、深くお詫び申し上げます。 https://t.co/FwEjEgTLUO— ポケモン公式ツイッター (@Pokemon_cojp) November 8, 2019
Some are speculating that the event was cancelled due to backlash surrounding Pokemon Sword and Shield, specifically concerning the game's lack of Pokemon. Unlike other Pokemon games, players can only transfer Pokemon into Pokemon Sword and Shield that can be found in the Galar region, meaning that potentially hundreds of Pokemon won't be included in the upcoming games. The development team of Pokemon Sword and Shield has been heavily criticized for this decision (which was made to allow for other features to be added to the game) and Masuda, the director of Game Freak, has even received death threats online. In light of a recent attack on Kyoto Animation that left dozens dead, it's possible that the Pokemon Company simply didn't want to risk putting fans and employees at harm given some of disproportionately negative reaction to the game.
Pokemon Sword and Shield will be released on November 15th.