Pokémon Sword/Shield Expansion Pass Outrage
On January 9th, Nintendo and Game Freak live-streamed ‘Pokémon Direct’ on YouTube. The event gave us their insight into the future of the Pokémon franchise, and it looks far more bleak than anyone could have possibly imagined.
Rather than releasing any more follow-up games, the team have announced the first of what they’ve implied will be many expansion packs. They’re calling this thing -
Pokémon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass
One pass grants you access to the first two expansions, these expansions are named ‘Isle of Armour’ and ‘Crown Tundra’. Oh, and in case you’re wondering yes, each expansion is unique to either Sword or Shield. So if you’re a completionist, get ready to cough up your money twice.
The first expansion is set on a tropical island, the second is set on a frozen icescape.
What you get
With this expansion pass you’ll get access to two new locations. These locations play like the wild area, so you’ll have the full ability to run wherever you please and control the camera.
They’re also making 200 previous generation Pokémon available, including legendaries who will be part of the story in the expansion.
They’ve also designed and will release new legendaries as well.
One new feature will be an underground cave area where you will be able to explore and battle in a multiplayer setting.
Game Freak revealed a new dojo and a master who will train you in the ‘Isle of Armour’ expansion. The master has a connection to the previous champion, and a new character who’s looking to set up a new gym. Who this character is will be dependant on whether you buy the Sword or Shield version.
Basically, Nintendo has revealed end game content that arguably should have been included in the base game.
Why the outrage?
Nintendo is now in the business of paid expansions. Much like EA before them, Nintendo is testing the waters of constantly releasing new content into a game, then billing you every step of the way.
The Pokémon Direct also reminded us of the ‘Pokémon Home’ service. The newest way of sending your Pokémon from previous titles into Sword/Shield. But remember, it’s locked behind a paywall.
Pokémon is really starting to feel like The Sims.
Pokémon = The Sims
The Sims releases a new game very infrequently, tiding its fans over with more than 20 expansions while they wait.
Buying every expansion would mean spending close to a thousand dollars on a single game, and usually for content that should have been included in the base game.
It really looks as if Nintendo’s plan is to slowly drip feed us the original Pokédex (which is all we’ve ever really wanted) one expansion at a time.
Taking out our tinfoil hats for a minute, it really feels as if we were denied the full Pokédex for this reason. They knew they’d be doing this, and planned accordingly. Remember when they promised they’d never restrict the Pokédex again? This is why they changed their mind.
They knew they’d be turning Pokémon into the Sims. Maybe EA helped them iron it all out.
This is the replacement for loot boxes. A new scheme for a new year.
The first expansion will be released in summer, the second in fall. A price has not been announced.