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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Stop Begging For Pokémon Sword and Shield News

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Unless you enjoyed the pre-release spoiling of Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon.

Around this time three years ago, The Pokémon Company International (TPCI) decided it would be a great idea to begin their pre-release hype for Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon. After the E3 2016 showcase, they basically slow-walked all of the new Alolan Pokémon and features every other week (sometimes more often than that) for the whole summer, and then up to the November release. By November's release, we basically knew everything about the game and there weren't any surprises left for the in-game experience.

KoopaTV covered it all, on the philosophy that it's not a real spoiler if it's part of the game publisher's own marketing. They want us to know this stuff. It's purposeful knowledge going into the game purchase and pre-release value. As opposed to spoilers, which are involuntary and not part of the marketing department's carefully-crafted knowledge drop schedules. The summer of 2016 will forever be known as the summer where KoopaTV subsisted on commentating on official Pokémon Sun, Pokémon Moon, and Paper Mario: Color Splash announcements and videos. Sometimes there was also commentary about the 2016 presidential election, but that was pretty much the website. I consider it a not-so-great time in our history, but maybe you enjoyed it. More power to you if you did.

And if you did enjoy it, you're probably one of those people begging for a repeat performance, this time with Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield instead.

Why? Why would you want that?

Pokémon Sword Shield wild Pikachu silhouette
Who's that Pokémon?!
Why not wait for the game to release to find out?

Having said that, when the news does pick up, we'll cover it here. But why do people beg for the news? Are they worried that GAME FREAK isn't working on the game if there isn't any news of it? Maybe they think no news is bad news, in the case of Metroid Prime 4's development. Maybe they want something new to talk about with their friends.

Maybe they're just saying things for the sake of it. They don't know the value of patience.

Or maybe they hate surprises.

The reason why TPCI had their schedule of constant pre-release information is so you wouldn't forget about the games before they come out. It's so they're at the top of your mind for the whole summer, and you're super-amped to buy them (and pre-order them) right away. Maybe you'll even buy both versions!

I personally admit to having forgot Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield were ever announced, and that they're coming out for the Nintendo Switch this holiday season. That forgetfulness is absolutely not what Nintendo wants.

Though I do think there's a balance between no news and revealing everything before the game releases. It happens to be a balance that most other games and publishers intuitively know. Just not for mainline Pokémon.

Ludwig always sees legions of fans mess up the comments sections of the Pokémon or Nintendo social media accounts and assumes news-begging is a widespread common behaviour, but he should also know that social media comments isn't representative of the majority of people. Neither are KoopaTV comments, but that's what makes them special. So please comment!

GAME FREAK actually does know how to shut up and not talk about their other games before release at all... just observe Town.
Right after this article, they had a Direct about Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. Hopefully they leave it at that.
They are at least going to have monthly news drops...


  1. Game Freak isn't the only one that does this. I've come to dislike how much information about games is revealed ahead of time. I've started avoiding news for games (especially RPGs) I'm interested in after a certain point. JRPGs especially seem to think the player should know the entire party lineup ahead of time. Getting new party members I wasn't expecting is part of the fun!

    Then there's Kingdom Hearts III, which I loved... but was seeing things I remembered from the trailers way too close to the end of the game, and that's despite me not watching the last few trailers.

    1. You were avoiding trailers by the end? Surprise to me given your site coverage. :p

    2. Yeah, there were at least two or three Kingdom Hearts III trailers after I stopped covering them. (From one of the trailers I didn't watch, I saw a clip before I could avoid it... of what turned out to be the moments immediately before the final battle.)

    3. I suppose there's no harm in going back and watching those trailers now, yes? And seeing the degree to which they spoil things?

    4. Wow. I already thought they showed too much even from the trailers I did watch, but going back now and watching one of the ones I skipped... and they really showed a ton of late-game scenes and spoilers.

    5. ...Yikes.

      The game's long and has enough content that they could've used earlier stuff and have impact, right?

    6. Kingdom Hearts games have a tendency to save most of the big story moments for the final few hours, so I guess they needed to pull from late-game scenes if they wanted the emotional impact... but I think they did it too much.

    7. Well, that gives me the impression that the game is very ending-heavy, so it makes sense that a trailer is proportionate.

      Bad trailer for bad game design?

    8. I didn't mind the game's pacing, but I really don't want a trailer to spoil so many late-game plot points. Their earlier trailers were fine. There are also scenes you could focus on that aren't spoilers. (And they did show those... they just had so many trailers with so many scenes, it wasn't enough.)

    9. They could always repeat footage...!

      Do you think they had so many trailers because of the very long development cycle?

    10. Since most of the trailers came out in the last couple of years, I doubt it. From what I could see looking it up, there was one teaser in 2013, a trailer and world announcement in 2015 (which I remember seeing at E3), a trailer in 2017, and then trailers started coming regularly in 2018 leading up to the launch.

    11. Maybe they felt they had to overcompensate...!


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