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More Pokémon Sword and Shield details came from the GameInformer Show podcast earlier last week. Sword and Shield is the cover story for the publication this month, so the outlet is slowly letting out a lot of details about Game Freak’s upcoming pair of games.

First, the panel discussed how Game Freak’s development team had to double to accommodate developing a home console game in HD. In addition to the hundreds of contract workers Game Freak has always used, the internal team grew from around 100 members to somewhere between 180 and 200 employees. The panel said that Game Freak likes to keep a smaller team to make communication simple and easy.

GameInformer also talked to Game Freak about the process of designing Pokémon. Game Freak said it’s a very complicated, in-depth process, and the designers need to justify every single design element of each Pokémon. For example, if a Pokémon has horns, there needs to be a reason, like using the horns for hunting prey or defending its young.

For those hoping for a bit more challenge in Sword and Shield, you may be in luck. Max Raid battles will be supposedly be very challenging, and they’ll have a difficulty rating from 1 to 5, just like Pokémon GO.

We don’t know much about this yet, but Pokémon you acquire early on will apparently be more viable in the late game. GameInformer said they weren’t told much, but that Game Freak said, “you’ll know when you see it.”

Gyms are back in the Galar Region because the team wanted to go back to basics for the first original, mainline entry on a console. Contrary to GameInformer’s initial report, there will not be 18 Gyms in the game, and the number will be closer to what we’re used to.

Naming the games “Sword” and “Shield” very late in the development process. Game Freak said that since the Legendaries were already made to look like a sword and a shield, they picked those names.

As for the Legendaries, Zamazenta was chosen to rhyme with magenta, and Zacian is in reference to “cyan.” Naming creatures after colors has always been a staple in the series, and the team wanted to return to that.

For more on GameInformer’s Pokémon coverage, check out the Sword and Shield concept art they revealed earlier this week. If you want to hear the full discussion on the GameInformer show, you can watch the episode below:



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Written by Logan Plant

Logan loves voicing his opinions just as much as writing them. When he isn’t gaming or writing, Logan’s probably recording a podcast or chatting on the radio. Video game journalism is his passion, and he hopes to cover video games for years to come.