Releasing paid downloadable content for Pokemon games would "ruin the worldview" of the franchise, series art director Ken Sugimori told 4Gamer.
Sugimori said he has been adamant about excluding real currency purchases from Pokemon games, noting that this philosophy has been with the team for most of the series' run. Keeping DLC off the table has been a business move that Sugimori believes helps protect the brand.
"When it comes to business, the one thing I've always said no to is the act of buying Pokemon with money,'" he said. "That is something that has been said since the days [Game Freak founder Satoshi] Tajiri was completely involved in everything."
Part of the Pokemon worldview is catching and holding the creatures in players' pockets. The way players obtain and hold Pokemon must remain consistent from game to game, Sugimori explained.
"The reason being, is because it's one of things that could ruin the worldview of Pokemon," he said. "I believe the reason we don't simply commercialize [Pokemon], is that it's a way of protecting the brand, and for this purpose, we have the specialty company called The Pokemon Company. Therefore, suppose we sell a Pokemon for 100 yen, then we must prepare something that is worthy of that 100 yen, along with a reasonable consent for doing so."
Sugimori explained that the company gives away legendary Pokemon to players who watch Pokemon movies in theaters because having the creatures "appear out of the big screen" sounded fun. However, should the company choose to sell Pokemon with real currency in the future, it would have to embody that same "fun" experience Game Freak strives to create.
"If we ever get the idea of, 'This could be fun if we could sell it for real-life money,' or something similar during the planning of a future game, then perhaps we could sell [Pokemon] for 100 yen," he said.