We're at that stage of the year where Pokemon fans love nothing more to do than speculate as to what's coming next. What if there is no Pokemon game coming in 2020 and if there isn't, does it even matter?
The January Pokemon Direct skipped over any new Pokemon game. This wasn't exactly surprising though, as announcements for the 2020 game are rarely made in January.
The last time a game was announced at the beginning of the year was back in 2013 for the introduction of Gen 6 - Pokemon X and Y. Last year's game, Pokemon Sword and Shield, was announced on Pokemon Day, in February, and this is the date to earmark again in 2020, if a new game is to be released at all.
Pokemon Sword Shield DLCs instead?
It's looking increasingly likely there won't be a new game to look forward to, however. Game Freak's reveal of not one, but two new DLCs for Pokemon Sword and Shield has left questions as to whether they will replace what would be a brand new game.
As part of an exciting new expansion pass, two DLCs have been confirmed for June and sometime in the fall. The first of these is titled "The Isle of Armor" and the second "The Crown Tundra."
This is clearly increasing the longevity of Pokemon Sword and Shield, a game which despite its flaws, has been received well. Perhaps the biggest flaw of all was the removal of hundreds of Pokemon from the game as part of the National Pokedex controversy. It looks like this is being rectified over time, though, as 200 (or more) Pokemon are being added to the game across the two expansion packs.
Is the lack of a new game a good thing?
On paper having to wait another year for a new Pokemon game doesn't sound great. Yet, if we look at it a little closer, a year's gap may actually benefit Pokemon trainers.
In this day and age, new games cost $60 and this would almost certainly be the price tag of any game, whether it were to be a sequel to Pokemon Let's Go or even a remake of the Pokemon Diamond & Pearl games.
When looking at the two Pokemon Sword and Shield DLCs, it's looking like they're extensive enough to bring enough content to match that of a new game anyway. With the potential of even more to come later in the year and possibly 2021, there should be plenty of adventures to enjoy yet.
What's more is that the first expansion pass cost $30 and entitles you to the first two DLCs. It's likely any subsequent expansions will come at another cost but nevertheless the $30 price tag is still half that of a brand new game.
There's an argument to be made that Pokemon fans are getting better value for money for the $30 expansion pass than they would a brand new game. It also gives Game Freak the opportunity to polish whatever is coming up next.
So, while there would be inevitable disappointment should a 2020 game not materialize, it isn't something Pokemon trainers should get too down-heartened about. It could work out to be a very good thing.