Why Pokémon Sword & Shield Expansions Replaced A Third Game
Last month, Game Freak and The Pokémon Company released the Crown Tundra, the second post-launch expansion for Pokémon Sword & Shield. This marks the first time the franchise has leaned this heavily on post-launch content being added to a mainline game. Traditionally, the series has released the two simultaneous mainline entries (see: Pokémon Red & Blue or Pokémon Sun & Moon), followed by one or two standalone versions that represent an improved edition of the preceding games (see: Pokémon Yellow or Pokémon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon).
With Pokémon Sword & Shield, the first all-new mainline Pokémon RPG to hit consoles, Game Freak and the Pokémon Company released the Isle of Armor and the Crown Tundra expansions over the course of 2020. While this approach doesn't give players the baked-in excuse to replay the most recent entry with myriad additions and streamlined elements added, it does provide players with various advantages. I asked the Pokémon Company if this approach takes the place of the traditional method of updating games through follow-up standalone titles. You can see the Pokémon Company's response below.
With the Crown Tundra, players could venture into Pokémon Dens for Dynamax Adventures. Through this method, you can battle and catch Legendary Pokémon from the various regions that came before Galar. According to the Pokémon Company, this came from a desire in changing the way Legendary Pokémon are caught.
Unfortunately, the Pokémon Company would not comment on if there was more content planned for Pokémon Sword & Shield. Pokémon Sword & Shield released last November, while the Isle of Armor expansion released in June and the Crown Tundra expansion hit in October. To learn more about the making of Pokémon Sword & Shield, check out our massive behind-the-scenes cover story.