Written By John Perry

Last year we saw the release of the latest generation of Pokémon games exclusive for the Nintendo Switch, the newest additions titled ‘Sword’ and ‘Shield’. 

Nintendo is sticking with the style they’ve had for many years which is, you get two versions to trade and play between, with a third likely coming later this year.

In recent years, we have also seen the launch and progressions of ‘Pokémon GO’, a mobile instalment where fans could head to the streets to catch their favourite Pokémon.

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Since the launch of ‘Pokémon GO’ in the summer of 2016, we have seen Nintendo go against their previous stance on monetising games with their addition of ‘Poké Coins’, where you can pay real-world money for in-game advantages. But this was only the beginning, as with the latest mainline releases of ‘Sword’ and ‘Shield’ there have been huge controversies amongst fans about the lack of a national dex. 

Fans only have access to around 500 out of the 700+ Pokémon, unlike older generations where you would always have access to all previous Pokémon. You were able to “Catch ‘Em All” as the tagline of the game suggests.

Somehow, Nintendo has made the situation even worse, announcing that to have those missing 200 Pokémon, you would have to pay via the new ‘Sword’ and ‘Shield’ expansion passes. The new expansions will also have new stories and content, but this will be the only way to get the classic Pokémon without the use of ‘Pokémon Home’- which is another issue entirely. 

‘Pokémon Home’ is a subscription service costing $16 a year to have access to store up to 6000 Pokémon from other games on the Switch. This cost, on top of the purchase of the latest console, the new Pokémon game, and the expansion pass is getting incredibly costly.

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It is clear that Nintendo is monetising children’s games and stripping content previously we could get for free to make additional profit. Companies like Ubisoft and EA have been doing this for many years now. Still, it’s sad to see the company behind a whole console doing this to a beloved franchise.

This seems to be a common occurrence in the gaming industry: stripping content and releasing it as DLC, or in the form of micro-transactions. But it’s upsetting to see Nintendo, who is primarily for children, enjoying following this trend. We certainly can’t “Catch ‘Em All” anymore, unless we decide to open our wallets and pay-out to follow our Pokémon dreams.