Pokémon’s Business Model Has Always Been Trash

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Pokémon Sword & Shield has been ticking off a subset of fans since its announcement, and that outrage has been refueled by the reveal of an upcoming expansion pass.

The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra will be arriving in DLC packs starting June, and the pass to access them costs $30. Some are viewing this as a paywall, while others point out it’s better than releasing the same game with new content bolted on – a series tradition.

The main problem here is that Pokémon, as a series, is one long con that grandfathered in a rather slimy business model, and if people are mad now, they would do well to examine decades of cynical double dipping through a new lens.

#Pokemon #PokemonSwordShield #Expansion #Nintendo #Switch #GameFreak #Dexit #IndustryBS #JimSterling


  1. Everyone : why are you doing expansion pass gamefreak ?
    Gamefreak : expansion passes are a pathway to many gains that some consider…unnatural

  2. Create the Problem, Sell the Solution

  3. Funny thing is the third game has all ways been seen as the best version of the game

  4. Silvershock Nicktail

    I’ve always said that if any other publisher did the “two nearly identical games” thing they’d be eviscerated. It’s disgusting.

  5. I was actually sure they’d be doing this in X&Y, with the lack of content and the ability to get patches from the internet etc.

  6. I think the thing that angers me is these DLCs finally debunk all their reasons for cutting the pokemon in the first place. They cut out things like Ekans because of vague, flimsy excuses like “balance” (not true if you’re adding them all back later including all the super-strong legendaries, is it?), “models and animations” (untrue, move animations are great but Sw/Sh made barely any changes to the pokemons’ models and 99% of it is just ported over, since the models were designed to be upscalable when they were first made)… So clearly, they in fact intended to cut them and add them back in from minute one, and lied to their fans repeatedly about it. imo that’s kinda disrespectful

  7. Remember this when I was a kid. I started out with Sapphire, only to realise that Ruby was also a thing and that I had to then get Emerald to face ALL the legendary Pokemon.

  8. TBH Jim, when I heard about the DLC my first thought was “Oh, I hope Jim gets his Ekans this time… or at least one of his other favorites.”

    Fingers crossed for you!

  9. *5-200 years later*
    “Here is Diablo 4 Sword and Shield.”

  10. It’s kinda the same confusion I have when people get mad at Kingdom Hearts 3 “cutting content from the main game” when almost every game in the series has a “GOTY” edition as a new full priced game. If anything, japan has been doing this in gaming for generations now, even more so than the west

  11. Was waiting for this, to see if Jim would say “they better have Ekans!”

  12. When you said about the ability to still get these Pokémon without buying the DLC, I was reminded of a simpler time when we were outraged by “on disc” dlc- being charged to access something that was already on your device.

    Fun times.

  13. “Added Features”

    Translation: Was intended for the game originally, but time constraints and shit.
    Time that magically appeared after the games development.

    Edit: I can’t believe I am having to say this, but don’t just insinuate I am going against Game Freak. I understand (as a fan myself) this is probably Nintendo’s fault as much as it is theres.

  14. I swear I heard Jim say “Sordid Shield” at least once.

  15. Just imagine:
    Skyrim releases 2 copy’s. Both identical except one version you can be storm-cloak. And the other version you can be imperial.
    But then a year later they release a version you can do both, or you can end the war By killing everyone.

    That’s Pokémon – every time they release a new game

  16. The Osean Federation

    It’s not called an expansion pass, it’s called “surprise pay up”

  17. My problem is with the people saying “at least”. At least what? They charge 90 dollars for less content than you used to get for for 40?

    The business model might have “always been shit”, but no one forced you to buy the remade version every year, and even if you did it would STILL be cheaper!!! I don’t understand why the excuse “it’s always been shit” prevents us from criticizing why it’s even more shitty now. They blatantly lied to fans to create a controversy (read: free press) because they knew their infinite good will would prevent them from losing profits. Now they want to milk people for DLC that adds Pokemon that should have been there to begin with (I guess they just magically whipped them up after launch), and people have the audacity to say “at least be don’t have to buy another game”.

  18. While I do agree with the sentiment about 2 games, I should note that people arn’t mad because “DLC Bad”. They’re mad because Pokémon Sword and Shield as games are generally half-assed and lacking in content compared to previous titles. In addition, Historically pokemon’s third versions have served as more than milking the cash cow. With the exception of Pokemon yellow which just rode on the Anime’s sucsess, and Pokemon Ultra sun and Ultra moon, The Third version of a game has been Gamefreak’s way of refining and improving the game in a time before Online updates where common place.

    For example, the earliest version of this happening was Pokemon crystal (Again, Yellow doesn’t count). Pokemon gold and Silver where completed games. They had plenty to do, a strong post game, and where all around great games, but could use some improving. And Pokemon Crystal did that improving, adding things like a Female playable character, giving facelifts to areas that needed them, and improving the sprites of certain pokemon, along with giving them all animations.

    Pokemon Sword and Shield are… not that. They’re lacking in Content, the games are linar and easy, There’s very little to do post game, and to top it all off, they cost 50% more than the previous enteries in the series.

    Most people I’ve seen agree that DLC is the best way to go for the franchise as a whole, but not if We stop getting the Complete experiences with plenty to do for a long time that we’ve gotten in the franchise’s past.

  19. The difference between this and having the third game of the gen is that you can just buy the Yellow/Sapphire/Platinum etc. and have the most up to date version while only having spent the total price of one full game. Now you have no choice but to pay for the update which ends with a total price of 2 games.

  20. “You only need the expansion pass if you personally want to catch them”. Phew, It’s a good thing the game has never sold itself on the idea of catching pokemon.

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