What if every core series Pokémon game was released in November?

bdt2002

Neurodiverse Pokémon & Mario fan
is a Pre-Contributor
Let me ask you all a question: what do all of these core series Pokémon games have in common?

  • Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire
  • Sun & Moon
  • Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon
  • Let's Go! Pikachu & Let's Go! Eevee
  • Sword & Shield
  • Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl
  • Scarlet & Violet
If you answered that they all had a worldwide November release date, you'd be right- more specifically, a release date of third Friday of November. These newer games weren't the first to do this, but it has become somewhat of a recurring pattern that I would imagine hasn't helped with newer games having the general reception of feeling rushed and incomplete. I mean, heck, starting in 2016 we've had something Pokémon related every year from Game Freak (assuming we count Legends: Arceus as their 2021 game in place of BDSP since different companies made them) during the fall months, whether it be a new game, a "remake", or some DLC for the new generation.

Normally I would be content with just collecting people's opinions on this pattern, but not only is that kind of boring, but other people have done this before. At this point most of us can agree that yearly releases are hurting the quality of these games, and while that's definitely still true, I wanted to take this discussion one step further. What would the fanbase think about the older games we all know and love if every new release followed this pattern, going all the way back to the originals?

Aside from collecting opinions, my main goal for this thread is to try and take a deeper look on which games do or don't feel more "rushed", so to speak, than the other games that released around this time. Sure, a game like Sword & Shield or Scarlet & Violet seems more rushed than, say, Diamond & Pearl for instance, but just how much more rushed numerically? And are these gaps in releases at all affecting the popularity of the games post-launch? In an effort to find answers to these kinds of questions, I've complied a list of when every core series Pokémon game would have released assuming they all had a worldwide release on the third Friday of November while maintaining the same number of years between each new release. From there, I simply want to start collecting your thoughts on if such a release pattern would have helped or hindered the games overall. With all of this in mind, here's the full list, with affected games being listed in bold text. Later, I'll be posting a list of which games would be released earlier or later than their actual initial release dates.

Red & Green: November 17th, 1995
Blue: November 15th, 1996
Yellow: November 20th, 1998

Gold & Silver: November 19th, 1999
Crystal: November 17th, 2000

Ruby & Sapphire: November 15th, 2002
FireRed & LeafGreen: November 21st, 2003
Emerald: November 19th, 2004

Diamond & Pearl: November 17th, 2006
Platinum: November 21st, 2008
HeartGold & Soulsilver: November 20th, 2009

Black & White: November 19th, 2010
Black 2 & White 2: November 16th, 2012

X & Y: November 15th, 2013

Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire: November 21st, 2014

Sun & Moon: November 18th, 2016
Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon: November 17th, 2017
Let's Go! Pikachu & Let's Go! Eevee: November 16th, 2018

Sword & Shield: November 15th, 2019
Sword & Shield DLC (both parts): November 20th, 2020
Brilliant Diamond, Shining Pearl, & Legends: Arceus: November 19th, 2021

Scarlet & Violet: November 18th, 2022
Scarlet & Violet DLC (both parts): November 17th, 2023
 
I don't think this matters to how rushed a game is or is not at all or really tells us anything other than Legends Arceus (& probably BDSP) likely had a small delay internally

They like having Pokemon as a Late Fall/early Winter release, presumably in time for the holidays, so that's generally what they aim for; a lot of the releases in English that weren't adhering to this were often in the same time frame in Japan (ie: GS was November, Crystal was December, RS was November, etc). The offset English releases were likely due to the imprtance of making sure they came out sooner than later due to them being heavy sellers rather than sitting on them for another year.
 

bdt2002

Neurodiverse Pokémon & Mario fan
is a Pre-Contributor
I don't think this matters to how rushed a game is or is not at all or really tells us anything other than Legends Arceus (& probably BDSP) likely had a small delay internally

They like having Pokemon as a Late Fall/early Winter release, presumably in time for the holidays, so that's generally what they aim for; a lot of the releases in English that weren't adhering to this were often in the same time frame in Japan (ie: GS was November, Crystal was December, RS was November, etc). The offset English releases were likely due to the imprtance of making sure they came out sooner than later due to them being heavy sellers rather than sitting on them for another year.
I remember reading somewhere that Legends was actually delayed by two months because of COVID-related concerns in 2021, but Game Freak has never come out confirming or denying this statement. I've been busy the past few days so I haven't had time to look at this thread in a little while, but I've come to realize that the specific month of release doesn't really matter so long as they meet that holiday season mark like you mentioned. In hindsight, trying to make an entire thread for such a simple question might have been a waste of time, so I do apologize for this thread clogging up additional space when it doesn't need to. That being said, there is one thing I would like to bring attention to.

If you (whoever's reading this) look closely at how many games are released in each generation, you'll notice something. 2016 was when this pattern started to become yearly, as opposed to Game Freak/ILCA taking off one year to work on the following generation. This in itself isn't groundbreaking news, but what I did notice was that this happened during the same generation and/or time frame during the transition to Generation 7, notable for being Shigeru Ohmori's first generation of Pokémon he led the direction of. For context, Generations 1 and 2 were pretty much entirely led by the efforts of Satoshi Tajiri, followed by Junichi Masuda's tenure in this role from Generations 3 to 6. That's not all, however. You guys remember Dexit? What if I told you that whole debacle originally wasn't meant to start with the Nintendo Switch era? Eagle-eyed fans of the Alola games may recall that they don't have a National PokéDex either and that the Ultra games (2017) even matched the base games of SwSh and SV's respective Pokémon count of 400 exactly. Also, otice how the games that have released in a yearly manner since 2016 are repeating somewhat similar concepts while simultaneously warping the way remakes of older games are designed, as seen with Let's Go and BDSP/Legends both feeling like their own separate identities.

What I'm trying to say here is that I think something might have happened in the greater scale of the Pokémon brand in or just before 2016 to warrant this decision making. Shigeru Ohmori's direction of the games doesn't seem to be the problem people have with that, so I can't help but wonder... what is the problem that made this change come about?
 
Dexit being planned for SuMo is a reasonable assumption, because non-regional Pokémon barely appear in those games.

If we assume that Island Scan and the Nugget Bridge homage were late additions, the only evidence against this theory is the stuff at the Battle Tree.
 
You guys remember Dexit? What if I told you that whole debacle originally wasn't meant to start with the Nintendo Switch era? Eagle-eyed fans of the Alola games may recall that they don't have a National PokéDex either and that the Ultra games (2017) even matched the base games of SwSh and SV's respective Pokémon count of 400 exactly.
Dexit being planned for SuMo is a reasonable assumption, because non-regional Pokémon barely appear in those games.
If Dexit was "planned" in any way explain Pokemon Home then

because the whole point of a service like Pokemon Home is transfers, and that directly conflicts with Dexit
 
iirc, post dexit, there was an interview where they said they almost didn't get all the Pokemon into Gen 7. The full extent of that statement is unclear ie: was it something they were dealing with throughout development, what problems were they facing, was it something floated as a brief idea before being shut down, how close was it to "happening", etc.
Which I remember because everyone collectively went "bro are you for real"

I do think it was on their mind at the time even if they did not plan for it to happen in either generation, at least.
 
Then that makes Pokemon Home not just poorly planned but basically a scam

why plan to release a transfering service when you plan to get rid of transfers?
 
Then that makes Pokemon Home not just poorly planned but basically a scam

why plan to release a transfering service when you plan to get rid of transfers?
Well, if nothing else, you'd still be able to transfer the Pokemon available in that specific game.
And also any future games
And also, act as storage for that current game I suppose.

So basically there was no plan to truly get rid of transfering and there's still reasoning behind planning it even if they did, even if it did wind up turning into Pokemon Jail for an extended time period for a large chunk of the Pokedex.

And again I'm not even saying they planned for it, I'm saying it might have been on their mind. A thought floating as development progressed and then came home to roost likely far earlier than they had hoped.
 

QuentinQuonce

formerly green_typhlosion
iirc, post dexit, there was an interview where they said they almost didn't get all the Pokemon into Gen 7. The full extent of that statement is unclear ie: was it something they were dealing with throughout development, what problems were they facing, was it something floated as a brief idea before being shut down, how close was it to "happening", etc.
Which I remember because everyone collectively went "bro are you for real"

I do think it was on their mind at the time even if they did not plan for it to happen in either generation, at least.
So this seems to be the interview in which this was alluded to (twtext thread discussing it in more depth here):

1688728963285.png


I'm a little confused as to why they apparently had so much difficulty making Gen VII. Like yes I am aware that game design is rarely quick or easy and I'm not intending in any way to imply otherwise but Sun and Moon were literally on the same system as the previous set of titles; as they say in the text above, it's not like the transition from GBC>GBA or DS>3DS where they would have had to literally make the whole game world and models from scratch* - in fact that quote seems to pretty much unambiguously confirm that they weren't remaking all the models when they made Sun and Moon, so it should have been more or less a direct transplant for the older mons.

It's especially odd recalling all the talk at the time about how the 3DS sprites had been "future-proofed" to make their inclusion in subsequent games easier than it might otherwise be. This, though, as far as I can make out appears to have arisen from a) people interpreting a meaning that may not have been intended from something said by Masuda in an interview around XY's release, which for the life of me I cannot find - possibly it arose from a bad translation? and b) people who've hacked the games and analysed the models discovering that the way they're rendered on the 3DS is actually a downgrade from the "full" potential of the sprites created (it's visible when you watch the Gen VI and VII games being emulated on PC: the texture and sharpness difference is very obvious. Used to confuse the hell out of me before I realised why this was the case). But it doesn't appear to have been something that was ever outright stated, though a large portion of the fanbase - not unreasonably - took it as solid fact.

Again, to restate because I think it's a point worth making, I don't think it's an unreasonable conclusion to draw - why make something forwards-compatible if the intent wasn't to use it again, and why on earth wouldn't any game studio take the opportunity to save themselves the time and expense of making 1000 new models for each new game?

Part of the general confusion I think definitely comes from idiots like me thinking "well if you're just importing old Pokemon data it's easy isn't it" but in practice it may not be quite so cut and dry. What's not in dispute is that they did use the older models for recent games to a significant extent, rather than create them anew - it seems more or less beyond dispute that the 3DS models are identical to the ones in LGPE - and there's a lot of justiable doubt over whether they did actually remake all the models in Gen VIII from scratch: here's one source appearing to confirm that the models used on the Switch games are upscaled conversions of the 3DS sprites, not brand new. Which doesn't necessarily mean that they were direct imports - for all we know they did actually get remade from scratch, which could have happened for any number of reasons, but they're at the very least using the 3DS sprites as a reference/blueprint for those new models.

It's difficult to discuss properly without devolving into pettiness and emotion - I've been guilty of that myself on at least one occasion - simply because there's so much conspiracy around the whole affair. Like this Reddit thread (which honestly I hesitated over even linking to) alleging that Dexit was down to Game Freak accidentally breaking their importer system and trying to cover it up. Nothing else I've read would suggest that this is the case, especially as it comes from an unattributed source, and the fact that Greninja - which is not present in the final build of SwSh - appears in the leaked demo gives me cause to question it. Though I'm perfectly prepared to consider it as one of those "this probably isn't true, but it wouldn't surprise me if it were" situations. We probably won't know the overriding factor for 20 years (if we ever do).

Sorry, this post sort of swung all over the place but was more me considering lots of things and trying to come to my own conclusions in real time. I absolutely do buy it being the case that Dexit quite likely could have happened in SuMo instead, whatever the case: imo the abandonment of the National Dex is as big an indicator as you could ask for.



*funnily enough, I noted the other day on a different thread that a large amount of enemy sets in XY's Maison are copy-pasted from the Subway, I totally get why! Absolutely an understandable corner to cut in light of this
 
Independently of that "leak" I'd probably believe their importer tools might have ran into an issue. There's a number of little things that make me think about it, but they'll probably never confirm it one way or another and they're certainly not going back on it now so it's all a frustrating moot point anyway I suppose.

And also not any new insight from release dates, for that matter. We've definitely discussed topics to this in the Mystery/Conspiracy threads, the Dexit threads, random other threads...
 
Well, if nothing else, you'd still be able to transfer the Pokemon available in that specific game.
And also any future games
And also, act as storage for that current game I suppose.

So basically there was no plan to truly get rid of transfering and there's still reasoning behind planning it even if they did, even if it did wind up turning into Pokemon Jail for an extended time period for a large chunk of the Pokedex.

And again I'm not even saying they planned for it, I'm saying it might have been on their mind. A thought floating as development progressed and then came home to roost likely far earlier than they had hoped.
It's a terrible half mesure

either give your customer base the service you use to provide as you heavily implied you would during Home's announcement
or if can no longer afford that cancel Home and tell your players that you'll no longer be doing transfers

as stands, Home's just reminds people of the old pokemon they can't transfer while charging them for the privilege to access pokemon they could already access in their cartridge
 
It's a terrible half mesure

either give your customer base the service you use to provide as you heavily implied you would during Home's announcement
or if can no longer afford that cancel Home and tell your players that you'll no longer be doing transfers

as stands, Home's just reminds people of the old pokemon they can't transfer while charging them for the privilege to access pokemon they could already access in their cartridge
I mean, Home's definitely overpriced even before considering *all this*, but it's still providing a transfer service for everything?

I'd be significantly more mad if I couldn't transfer *literally anything* anywhere, much less between files or anything.
 

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