The Pokemon Sword and Shield boycott didn't end well - Dexerto
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The Pokemon Sword and Shield boycott didn’t end well

Published: 24/Jan/2020 11:00

by Paul Cot

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Threats of boycotting were rampant in the lead up to Pokemon Sword and Shield but it doesn’t look like it had the intended effect. In fact, quite the opposite happened.

The initial announcement of Pokemon Sword and Shield created excitement perhaps unrivalled with any other Pokemon game to-date. Trainers were looking forward to the first fully fledged Pokemon game on the Nintendo Switch.

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Throw in the introduction of the much anticipated eighth generation and a brand new world to explore and trainers had a game to truly look forward to. However, that excitement was dampened somewhat when it was revealed that Sword and Shield would be the first mainline Pokemon game to not include National Pokedex.

If you follow the Pokemon franchise closely, you’ll be all too aware of the fallout from it. Even Game Freak couldn’t have expected such a backlash.

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The National Pokedex controversy caused some of the more disgruntled trainers to threaten to boycott Pokemon Sword and Shield…

Boycotting as a protest

Pokemon fans felt so passionate about the ability to ‘catch ’em all’ that a notable portion of the community threatened to boycott Pokemon Sword and Shield. Now, whether they did or didn’t we’ll never know but presumably at least some of them did.

It seemed the reason for this was to teach Game Freak a lesson. Whether they were right to do so or if they should have been happy with the product they got is up for debate.

Nevertheless, by not buying the game, those who boycotted it were trying to tell the developers to be more thorough in the future. After all when it comes to the business of video games, there’s nothing that hurts companies more than poor sales.

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Pokemon Red Blue Yellow CoversEven today no Pokemon game has been able to match the popularity of Pokemon Red, Blue and Yellow…

Pokemon Sword and Shield breaks sales records

This appears to have backfired though, tremendously. Despite the controversies and criticisms, Pokemon Sword and Shield has sold extremely well so far, and has even broke records in the process.

Famitsu have shared that since Pokemon Sword and Shield released in November it has been top of the video game sales charts in Japan for nine weeks straight. In the tenth week following its release, it finished third in weekly sales.

Overall, it has nearly reached 3.5 million sales – taking it above the popular cartoon-style FPS title Splatoon 2. Worldwide sales have yet to be released, at least officially, but given how its doing in the Japan charts, it could be approaching Pokemon Let’s Go sales’ figures, which has been confirmed to hit 11.28 million units sold.

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It just shows incredibly popular the Pokemon franchise is – even when some are trying to boycott. Its still got a long way to compete with the likes of Pokemon Red and Blue but Imagine what a new Pokemon game without controversy could do!

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Pokemon Go: Legendary Pokemon are getting even rarer

Published: 13/Oct/2020 15:36 Updated: 13/Oct/2020 15:37

by Paul Cot

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In recent times Legendary Pokemon have been made what they should have been all along in Pokemon Go – rare.

There was a time in Pokemon Go when getting those legendary ‘mons became all too common and easy. This resulted in it becoming a mundane task – something which getting one should never be.

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Research Breakthrough rewards were introduced to the mobile game in April 2018. You can obtain these rewards by earning seven Field Research stamps.

Only one can be earned per day and you get one for completing any Field Research task. As anyone who has completed these before can attest to, they are often very easy to do.

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From April 2018 until December 2019, the majority of these months had a Legendary Pokemon waiting for you when you earned those seven stamps. This meant you could earn an encounter with the likes of Moltres, Latios, Groudon – and any other of the litany of legends that featured – for completing seven simple tasks.

If you routinely played, this meant a new Legendary Pokemon every seven days. It was no wonder Legendary Pokemon lost their allure.

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Easy to obtain Legendary Pokemon are a thing of the past in Pokemon Go…

Make Legendary Pokemon rare again

From January 2020 though, legendary species no longer featured as the Research Breakthrough encounter reward. Niantic likely realized they were too easy to get and wanted to make getting them mean something again.

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Generally, this made them only obtainable in Raid Battles. This made sense because with rare ‘mons so easy to get hold of previously, fewer trainers would spend the time to get them in the more difficult route of Raid Battles. This is in addition to them costing real money/PokeCoins if you did more than one a day.

It hasn’t stopped there, however. It looks like Niantic want to make them even rarer. Many trainers will have noticed five-star Raids are appearing far less frequently.

This hasn’t been confirmed in any official capacity but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence from the Pokemon Go community. “[I] was in an area with over 25 gyms but could only find 2 Giratina during 5 [a] hour period this afternoon,” MarinaBlu shared. They did note a lot more Mega Raids were appearing during that time.

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Encouraging Mega Raids?

There could be multiple reasons for this. Firstly, it will make trainers jump on Raid Battles that feature Legendary Pokemon, stopping the often empty lobbies which single trainers have to avoid.

Then there could be an element of wanting to make Legendary Pokemon even more desirable. This is understandable but certainly puts newer players at a disadvantage. After all, experienced trainers will have a lot stocked up. They would argue this is deserved, however, due to the time they have put into the game.

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Finally, it could be Niantic are trying to encourage trainers to play more Mega Raids. The concept of Mega Evolution in Pokemon Go hasn’t been received as well as the developers would have hoped, though.

We don’t know if the reduced five-star Raid Battles will carry on, but it’s definitely something to keep an eye on.