Paid DLC would 'ruin the worldview' of Pokemon, say creators

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.

More from Polygon

The horror of Five Nights at Freddy's

  • Dark Souls 2: Crown of the Old Iron King Overview

  • Spacecom: a fast 4X built for multiplayer

  • Pillars of Eternity builds on role-playing classics

  • Tour the 1 KB hard drive built inside Minecraft

Latest Discussions

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new Polygon username and password

As part of the new Polygon launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to Polygon going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new Polygon username and password

As part of the new Polygon launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to Polygon going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.



Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.