Pokemon Sword and Shield are set to launch on Friday, November 15, set to be arguably the biggest Switch release of the year. However, the games have been the source of some controversy, largely stemming from their lack of a national Pokedex, meaning that they will be missing hundreds of Pokemon. Now a Pokemon Sword and Shield launch event that was scheduled to take place in Japan has been canceled, and speculation online points to the national Pokedex controversy possibly being the reason why.
The Pokemon Company's explanation for why the Pokemon Sword and Shield launch is "operational reasons," but it hasn't elaborated beyond that, which has fueled the speculation that the national Pokedex controversy has played a role. Now, it's entirely possible that the Pokemon Sword and Shield national Pokedex controversy has nothing to do with The Pokemon Company's reason to cancel the launch event, though it seems many have already accepted that narrative.
Regardless of why this particular Pokemon Sword and Shield launch event was canceled, there's no denying that the national Pokedex controversy has putting a damper on the games' hype. There are many vocal fans online who have criticized the games for their lack of a national Pokedex, with some going as far as to say that they won't even bother buying the new entries in the franchise.
Considering just how hugely popular Pokemon is, though, we have our doubts that the national Pokedex controversy will put a dent in their sales in any significant way. Even so, it will be interesting to see how Game Freak responds to the backlash moving forward. Maybe it will ensure that the next set of Pokemon games have a national Pokedex, or maybe the inevitable Sword and Shield enhanced editions will include the national Pokedex as a main selling point.
Alternatively, we may see some of the missing Pokemon from Sword and Shield at launch added to the games as post-launch DLC. Game Freak has said in the past that it's possible that Pokemon Sword and Shield will add Pokemon as DLC, but whether or not these Pokemon would be completely new or missing fan favorites remains to be seen.
Pokemon Sword and Shield will launch on November 15, exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.
Source: The Pokemon Company