Pokemon Comments on National Pokedex Controversy's Impact on Developers

The developers of the main series Pokemon games have "been through a lot" due to the negative feedback from fans when new games are released. Earlier this week, Axios interviewed J.C. Smith, The Pokemon Company's director of consumer marketing. During the interview, Axios reporter Stephen Totilo asked Smith about the National Pokedex controversy of 2019, which saw The Pokemon Company receive immense blowback when Game Freak (the developer of the Pokemon games and one of the three co-owners of the franchise) announced that they would not include all 900+ Pokemon species into Pokemon Sword and Shield. "We have a group of creators and professionals working at the Pokémon Company that have been through a lot — seen, heard [a lot]," said Smith. "They have thicker skin than many people do because they've heard it." 

Smith noted that while fans had a particular vision of what the franchise should entail, the developers also had their own plans. "But there's also a vision for what the creators want to provide, and it's [a matter of] finding that delicate balance throughout," Smith said.

However, Smith noted that the developers do consider at least some of the feedback from the Pokemon fanbase, especially as the games are played by multiple generations of fans. "We hear it," Smith said of calls for a harder Pokemon game experience. "And I think the creators definitely understand that there's a desire for maybe something." 

Smith's interview with Axios comes ahead of The Pokemon Company's newest games - Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. The new games are remakes of Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, but with a handful of updated features and quality-of-life improvements implemented during the 15 years since the original games were released. Yesterday, The Pokemon Company announced some of the post-game content for Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, including a new park where players can battle Legendary Pokemon from the first three generations of Pokemon games. Several Mythical Pokemon will also be available to players who played previous Pokemon games on the Nintendo Switch.

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Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl will be released on November 19th.