The Pokémon Sword & Shield official launch event has suddenly been canceled without much explanation.
Pokémon Sword & Shield launches on November 15th. As has always been the case, Nintendo, Game Freak, and all the people involved with the creation of the next-gen Pokémon game were to celebrate the game’s arrival with a launch event to be held at the Tokyo Skytree Pokémon Center. Then we’d get to see Sword & Shield in the flesh for the first time.
However, that’s not going to be the case this time. For the first time in Pokémon history, the Pokémon launch event has been canceled.
【お詫び】11月15日（金）にサンシャインシティ 噴水広場で予定していた『ポケモン ソード・シールド』発売記念イベントは、弊社運営上の都合で中止させていただくことになりました。楽しみにされていたお客様には多大なご迷惑をおかけしますこと、深くお詫び申し上げます。 https://t.co/FwEjEgTLUO— ポケモン公式ツイッター (@Pokemon_cojp) November 8, 2019
Gamefreak, the developer of Pokémon, didn’t provide any explanation as to what had happened to cause them to cancel the event. All we were told was that the cancellation was due to “operational reasons,” whatever that could mean.
Speculation has run rampant on social media, but the leading theory all has to do with the decision to remove previous-gen Pokémon from Sword & Shield. We’ve known since June that Gamefreak had decided that this was the generation where they would start to trim Pokémon from the National Pokédex, and a recent leak since then indicates that many fan favorites from previous generations didn’t make the cut.
The response has been resoundingly negative from all facets of the Pokémon fandom. Gamefreak attempted to explain that it couldn’t reasonably create fair and balanced Pokémon games with an ever-increasing number of Pokémon, but that hasn’t assuaged angry Pokémon fans.
In fact, it’s gotten to the point that the Pokémon subreddit won’t go a single day without a “Dexit” post, which is an obvious take on Brexit. Most are just fans venting their frustrations, but a few of them have gotten creative and started making comic strips to explain Dexit in-universe. One even started a protest art movement that promises “one culled Pokémon family every day until Dexit is reversed.”
Pokémon Sword & Shield will still come out on November 15th, just without the fanfare this time. We’ll see if that has a negative effect on sales or not.