With Pokemon Sword & Shield’s release in 2019, fans may be wondering what’s next for the Game Freak franchise. Here is everything we know about Pokemon Gen 9 and the future of the the series.
Although Game Freak is ramping up for the launch of Pokemon Legends Arceus at the start of 2022, eager fans are looking past the Sinnoh origin story to the next generation title with Sword & Shield turning three years old.
As we inch closer to the annual Pokemon Day celebration on February 27, rumors have popped up that we may learn more about Gen 9 this year. Here is what you need to know about Pokemon’s ninth generation.
- Will Pokemon Gen 9 be announced in 2022?
- Where will Pokemon Gen 9 be set?
- Does Pokemon Gen 9 have release date yet?
While there has been no official confirmation from The Pokemon Company, it’s been over two years since Gen 8 made its debut with Sword & Shield. Based on decades of release cycles, Gen 9 would normally be announced in 2022.
Things get tricky, however, as Game Freak threw fans a curveball when announcing Pokemon Legends Arceus for January. The side project not only looks ambitious, but its release at the beginning of the year makes a ninth generation release seem crowded.
Despite all that, rumors have steadily been boiling online that Game Freak is ready to talk about Gen 9 soon. While not confirming it, IGN Editor Casey DeFreitas also feels confident that we will hear more soon. During the January 6 NVC podcast, she said, “I think the next-gen of Pokemon is already in development. I’m 90% sure we’re going to hear about that generation this year.”
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Several leakers have also made the claim that Pokemon Gen 9 is slotted for 2022. However one of the most reliable insiders ‘Riddler_Khu‘ seems to have only hinted at Gen 9 in a January 1 tweet. “Oh, a big sign of the last year of Gen 8,” the account wrote in response to Sword & Shield’s online competitive Series 12 ending in August 2022.
So at the time of writing, it’s up in the air as to whether Pokemon’s ninth generation is announced. If it is, expect it to be a part of February’s Pokemon Day event or sometime in April.
Since 2010’s Black & White, the Pokemon franchise has alternated each generation’s region between America and Europe. Unova was themed around New York State, Kalos resembled France, and Alola was designed around the island of Hawaii. This brings up to the current Gen 8 with Galar inspired by the UK.
So going by previous cycles, the ninth generation should be based on another US location, right? Well, not so fast. Game Freak could always deviate and break the cycle. In fact, the heaviest rumors around Gen 9 so far seem to be hinting at China or India.
Pokemon YouTuber Lockstin & Gnoggin made a viral video pointing out how each gen’s Mythical Pokemon directly hints at the next generation. In the upload, the content creator points towards Sword & Shield’s mythical Zarude and him being jungle and forest-based.
If Gen 9 is announced in 2022 then it will likely release in the Fall. Based on previous titles, The Pokemon Company likes to launch new games on Fridays. Based on that, November 11 or the 18 is the release window that makes the most sense.
Since Game Freak has seemingly been breaking all the rules lately with Pokemon Legends Arceus, anything is possible. While unlikely, the Nintendo dev may even announce the ninth generation and release it in 2023.
Something that should be pointed out, though, is that Sword & Shield was developed in 1.5 years. And GF has traditionally broken up into multiple teams to work on projects at the same time. With Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl being made by Studio ILCA, it’s entirely possible that Gen 9 has been in development. Only time will tell though when we will finally get the follow-up to Galar.