Following the announcement of Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee, Nintendo has been working to clarify some confusion. These Let’s Go games are not part of the main series of Pokemon RPG games, which include Pokemon X and Y, and Pokemon Sun and Moon. Those follow-ups, which were announced during E3 2018 for the Nintendo Switch, are still in development and won’t be released until 2019.
Many Pokemon fans likely confused the Let’s Go titles for the main Pokemon RPG series due to the abundance of leaks and rumors over the past month. Not to mention Nintendo’s somewhat frustrating ambiguity regarding its plans for the wider Pokemon franchise. The combination of Nintendo acknowledging that a Pokemon game for Nintendo Switch would be released in 2018 along with leaks revealing the Let’s Go games as far back as April easily led Pokemon fans to believe these were the RPGs they were waiting for. We now know this isn’t true.
For now, Game Freak continues to work on the next major Pokemon RPG for the Nintendo Switch with a tentative release window of late 2019.
With #PokemonQuest and #PokemonLetsGo, there are so many new ways to explore the world of Pokémon! Trainers can look forward to even more with an all-new core series Pokémon RPG title in development for the second half of 2019! pic.twitter.com/d5uiIpenMI
— Pokémon (@Pokemon) May 30, 2018
Here’s how Game Freak director Junichi Masuda described the connection between Pokemon GO, Pokemon Let’s Go, and the upcoming iteration of the core Pokemon RPG series:
“With the launch of Pokemon GO in 2016 and the global sensation that ensued, millions of new players were introduced to the world of Pokemon. For many people, Pokemon GO was their first experience with the Pokemon brand, so we have crafted these two new titles to be an accessible entry point to our core RPG series while giving our longtime fans a new way to play Pokemon.
Masuda’s insinuation with this quote is twofold. First, he claims that Nintendo doesn’t necessarily believe Pokemon GO‘s success will drive mobile players into the main Pokemon series, or vice versa. Pokemon Let’s Go is expected to bridge the two. Second, his comments also read like somewhat of a warning to traditional Pokemon fans, in that Pokemon Let’s Go may not be what they’re looking for.
Nintendo’s upcoming E3 media events should help clarify the situation for more Pokemon fans. With greater awareness of just what kind of games the Lets Go series will be, the easier fans will be able to distance them from the core Pokemon RPG series.
Pokemon‘s next generation of RPGs releases in late 2019 on the Nintendo Switch.