Pokemon Sword and Shield's developer Game Freak have faced a strong backlash after scrapping the National Pokedex for their next game, but will we ever see it available to complete again?
The franchise's video game series dates right the way back to 1996, following the release of the original 151 species, and since that time being able to catch'em all has been a staple of not just the products developed for the mass market, but also the TV show.
A flood of confusion swept across the fanbase, though, when the developers of Sword and Shield made potentially their most scrutinized announcement to date, which has been dubbed as "Dexit" by some trainers – a play on words for the Pokedex they know and love having exited the games.
While many members of the online gaming community have come together to question the decision from Game Freak already, a key figure in its development team has been discussing the move with Inside Gamer.
Junichi Masuda, the game producer of Sword and Shield, said: “We now have no plans to make the Pokemon that are missing in the Galar Pokedex in-game available. That is an approach that we want to continue in the future with Pokemon games.
"Of course, up to now it has not been possible to encounter every Pokemon in every game, so people had to transfer it from old games via Pokemon Bank to the new game, for example."
These comments could be read in two different ways. From one perspective, it may look as if the chances of the National Pokedex coming back – at least while Game Freak are working with The Pokemon Company – remains slim for the foreseeable future.
Another way of looking at the situation, though, could be that the developers are willing to put the ideas of the past on the shelf for the next few projects they are working on in order to explore different ways of creating a unique experience for fans.
The idea of completing the national dex might well have been something fans looked forward to, but having the same goal for each game, no matter the name, generation, or storyline, may not have the same glamour in the future.
By the same token, it does mean that whatever comes next is going to have to be just as challenging. Catching every single Pokemon each year might have been fun for some players, but it was no doubt a difficult slog for others.
With its absence certainly confirmed for the upcoming games, we now have a confirmed list of Pokemon from previous generations that will not feature in the Galar Region.
Starters from other areas of the Pokemon world have largely been excluded, although leaks suggest fan-favorites Charmander, Bulbasaur and Squirtle will be available. This is unconfirmed, though, at the time of writing.
Pokemon Sword and Shield is set for a November 15 release date and while many details have been revealed, or leaked, ahead of its launch, it remains to be seen whether or not a bright idea to replace the National Pokedex will arrive shortly or in future titles. For now at least, it looks to have been put on the back burner.