Games

Dexit Means Dexit: The Controversy with Pokemon Sword and Shield

Hamzah Abbas

Since before the launch of Pokemon Sword and Shield, there has been a lot of controversy over the decision to cut certain Pokemon from the game. This marked a first for the series, as in previous games all Pokemon were included. Many expected the main series’ first step into the world of console gaming to mark a huge improvement, but when news of “Dexit” was announced, it was viewed as a significant step back by many.

There are currently 890 Pokemon in existence, though only 435 of these made it into the base game of Pokemon Sword and Shield. A further 200 Pokemon are set to be added through future updates, though for many the damage has already been done. The update will be free, although to capture these Pokemon in game, the player will need to purchase the upcoming expansion pass for the game. Those who do not pay will be able to trade with other players for the Pokemon added by the update. Alternatively, to transfer the Pokemon from a previous game, players will need to pay a subscription fee of £14.59 per year in order to unlock the transfer feature in Pokemon Home. 

This cynical repackaging of cut content has left a sour taste in the mouths of many fans. Initially, they were told that the reason for the cut Pokemon was because Game Freak had to program too many new models. However, it was later revealed that many of the models used in the game were the same as the ones in the previous games, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. It seems like Game Freak wanted to cut corners in order to maximise profits – a strategy which seems to have worked as the games have already sold over 17 million copies worldwide.

Part of the appeal of Pokemon has always been that every Pokemon has a chance of being someone’s favourite. Whilst popular Pokemon such as Pikachu and Eevee made it into the game, spare a thought for those whose favourites are some of the more niche creatures such as Buizel or Aipom. Even then, not all fan favourites returned to Sword and Shield, with popular Pokemon such as Jigglypuff and Psyduck not being in the game.

This marks the first time that not every Pokemon has been able to be transferred forward since the third generation, Ruby and Sapphire. Back then, it was a case of hardware limitations – there was no way to connect a Game Boy Colour to a Game Boy Advance to complete these transfers. 

However, from the third generation, it has been possible to transfer your Pokemon forwards, meaning that some players will have Pokemon that they have had since 2002. The lack of guarantees over transfers is even more frustrating, given that Pokemon Bank was advertised as a hub for exactly this situation. Dexit, or the removal of Pokemon from the game, simply reeks of corporate greed.

Image by Hewdraw.

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