Pokemon Sword and Shield is set to unleash another wave of bans on players, which will also impact their ability to access Pokemon Home. The Pokemon Company has announced that they will be banning players who engage in "troublesome behavior" that either impairs the function of Pokemon Sword and Shield or cause problems for others. The ban notice states that those users found to be using altered data or engaging in troublesome behavior may receive penalties that include the restriction of online play in Pokemon Sword and Shield, the restriction of trading features in the mobile version of Pokemon Home, and the suspension of both the Nintendo Switch version and mobile version of Pokemon Home. These bans may be temporary or permanent, and are up to The Pokemon Company's discretion. Additionally, no refunds or repayments will be offered to those banned. The notice also states that ban waves will occur regularly in the future.
Pokemon Sword and Shield has long had a problem with hacking and the altering of save data. Many players used hacked raids to gain access to Pokemon that couldn't be found in raids, or guaranteed Shiny encounters. The Pokemon Company addressed those issues in early 2020 with a ban wave that lasted for two months. Notably, this ban wave includes punishments related to Pokemon Home, as players can now use the app to trade hacked Pokemon to unsuspecting players.
While Pokemon Sword and Shield wrapped the release of its DLC in fall 2020, the game still has a strong playerbase and continues to have periodic events, such as an event that offers the chance to encounter Shiny Tauros in raids.
The Pokemon Company is also gearing up for its 25th anniversary celebrations, which are set to begin in February. The franchise has already announced a collaboration with singer Katy Perry and other musicians, and has plans to release special anniversary cards later this year. In addition to New Pokemon Snap, The Pokemon Company is also rumored to release a new Pokemon game for its 25th anniversary - likely a remake of Pokemon Diamond and Pearl.