It might only be two months since the hugely anticipated Pokemon Sword and Shield was released but fans are still speculating as to when we can expect an announcement for what the 2020 Pokemon game will be.
Some trainers were expecting an announcement during the January 9 Pokemon Direct but this turned out to be the reveal for a brand new expansion pass in Pokemon Sword and Shield. It included two paid-for DLCs which are scheduled to be released in June and Fall of 2020.
In hindsight it was perhaps not surprising that the Pokemon Company and Game Freak continued to focus on the current Gen 8 game, and not what's coming up next. Had a new game been confirmed, then this would have been the earliest reveal in a calendar year since Pokemon X and Y was on January 8, 2013.
Could there be no 2020 game?
The fact that there is still so much Pokemon Sword and Shield to come throughout 2020 changes the dynamic of what could be next in the Pokemon video game series. Although seemingly unlikely, due to the sheer demand of a new game, it could be that Game Freak don't release a mainline title in 2020.
This would allow them to focus and improve whatever is next on the horizon as well as focusing on additional content for Sword and Shield. It would be the first time since 2015 that a core title wasn't released in a particular calendar year but it does remain a possibility.
Pokemon Day to become a tradition?
An announcement in January seems very unlikely and with February just around the corner, the next logical time for an announcement is Pokemon Day. This takes place on February 27.
The annual celebration of the long running series appears to be the most likely time for the Pokemon Company to announce what (and if) the 2020 game will be. Pokemon Sword and Shield was announced on Pokemon Day 2019.
Given the approximate 9 month gap between Pokemon Day and the general release time of Pokemon games it makes perfect sense to announce it then. Usually games don't need such a long build up but Pokemon is a little different due to the magnitude and popularity of the games. Maybe it will become tradition for the annual game to be revealed on February 27.
When else could an announcement come?
Two other titles have also been announced on Pokemon Day: Black & White 2 and Pokemon Sun & Moon. Some have come a lot later in the year, however.
Over the last decade the latest an annual Pokemon game has been announced was June 6 in 2017 for Pokemon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon. If using this as the yardstick we could still have nearly five months to wait.
Which #Pokemon game do you want to see next?
Let’s Go Johto or a Gen 4 remake? ? pic.twitter.com/zupdOxS2pN
— Pokemon News (@PokemonSwordNS) January 8, 2020
The Pokemon Sword and Shield expansion pass all but guarantees we won't be getting a sequel to the Galar region, at least in 2020. Other front runners for the prestigious 2020 title are a remake for Pokemon Diamond & Pearl and a sequel to the Nintendo Switch's Pokemon Let's Go in the form of a return to the Johto region!