okemon Sword and Shield will invite players into the new Galar region next month. The location is packed with both brand new and returning Pokemon (albeit not all of them). It marks the beginning of the eighth generation of Pokemon games, and some fans might be wondering where these new games fit within the nebulous Pokemon timeline.
It’s never been properly clarified how much overlap there is between the various games in the series. While Gold/Silver are a direct sequel to Red/Blue, the timeline gets more confusing the longer you think about it. But according to the team at Game Freak, you shouldn’t look too deeply into how they all fit together.
In an interview with Game Informer, producer Junichi Masuda admitted that there’s no definite timeline for the Pokemon series, and that it’s best not to get too caught up trying to untangle it. “It starts to get a little complicated if you pay too much attention to timelines,” he said. “Like, there might be a professor that appears and it wouldn’t make sense at all if we applied that kind of timeline logic. So we try not to apply it too rigorously.”
Masuda says that the world of Pokemon has grown, even if a strict linear narrative across the series is hard to land on. “The approach that Pokemon takes is expanding the world, like what the regions are, and making it richer as we go. Rather than a timeline, it’s more of a physical space thing.”
In that same interview, Masuda and director Shigeru Ohmori spoke about the game being of comparable length to past entries in the series. Meanwhile, in our own hands-on report, Kallie Plagge found that picking a starter Pokemon in Sword and Shield is a surprisingly emotional experience.
Pokemon Sword and Shield launch for Nintendo Switch on November 15. Check out our preorder guide to ensure that you get your hands on the version you want on day one.