Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are two months away from launch, and while The Pokemon Company released five trailers thus far, none of them went too deep into the Paldean Pokedex in terms of reveals. Still, the various leaks and rumors preceding Gen 9’s upcoming release did disclose more information about what sort of Pokemon will be coming, both new and old, and leakers insist on the fact that Pokemon Scarlet and Violet will have DLC. It’s way too soon to determine whether there will indeed be some form of expansion for Gen 9 games and when it might be coming, but it’s likely that the idea behind it is the same as it was for Pokemon Sword and Shield.
Generation 8 games were initially harshly criticized for the infamous Pokedex cut, which meant that Pokemon Sword and Shield didn’t have every critter ever released up to Gen 8, but only a small amount of returning pocket monsters. This was partly fixed with the expansion pass that included Isle of Armor and Crown Tundra, and while Pokemon Scarlet and Violet‘s regional Pokedex doesn’t seem to suffer the same issues as Gen 8, it could still inherit a major problem introduced with it. In fact, Pokemon Sword and Shield‘s DLC had to be purchased for a specific game version rather than being something one would unlock for their Nintendo account or their console, and Gen 9 shouldn’t do the same.
Why Pokemon Scarlet and Violet’s DLC Should Work Differently Than Gen 8’s
Having to purchase both the Isle of Armor and Crown Tundra DLC for every copy of Gen 8 games one owned was an unnecessarily frustrating practice that felt disingenuous to many long-time fans. This held particularly true in Gen 8 because it didn’t have a follow-up sequel or third version to bridge the gap with Gen 9. Thus, making the expansion pass only apply to a single game copy, be it physical or digital, meant that those who purchased both Pokemon Sword and Shield had to either give up on the expansions, pay double the price, or prioritize one copy.
Many Pokemon fans tend to collect multiple copies of new mainline games to have different solo playthroughs or simply to play with friends and family when possible. Pokemon Scarlet and Violet‘s co-op features even push this type of experience because they allow players to team up with fellow trainers and explore the region of Paldea with them, even in local communication. However, if Gen 9 were to use the same approach as Pokemon Sword and Shield, playing with one’s nearest and dearest could prove to be quite costly and defeat the purpose of co-op functionalities to a degree.
Instead, making expansions for Pokemon Scarlet and Violet a one-time purchase for every Gen 9 game on one’s account would be a better move in the long run. Not only that, but this practice would allow fans who play solo or with loved ones not to limit their progress on a specific copy of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, especially considering the number of entirely new species from Gen 8’s expansion pass proved to be very low.
Actually, Pokemon Sword and Shield‘s expansions being standalone purchases for a specific copy of Gen 8 games hinged on the fact that new powerful Legendary critters were introduced in quests where players had to pick one of two. This held true for Urshifu’s two forms, the new Legendary titans Regieleki and Regidrago, and also Calyrex Shadow Rider and Calyrex Ice Rider. While this makes sense to a degree, Pokemon Scarlet and Violet could do away with this feature and instead allow everyone to just buy expansion passes that encompass the entirety of Gen 9 games, regardless of how many copies a single user may own.
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are set to release on November 18, exclusively for Nintendo Switch.