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Pokemon’s developers just want us to take care of Sobble

Game Freak developers detailed the Gen 8 starters in new interviews

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Sobble with some hearts floating above its head The Pokémon Company/Nintendo
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

If you choose any starter Pokémon other than Sobble when Pokémon Sword and Shield is released on Nov. 15, you’re making the wrong choice. Sobble, the shy, sad frog-like water-type Pokémon is a good boy — a Pokémon you just want to take care of.

In a new interviews with Game Informer, Game Freak developers Shigeru Ohmori, Junichi Masuda, and James Turner shared some new information about Sobble (and the other two starter Pokémon — Grookey, the happy green monkey Pokémon and Scorbunny, the mischievous fire bunny Pokémon).

Unfortunately, the developer still refused to share information on the three Pokémon’s evolutions, but noted that each are connected to the Galar region in a way that will make sense when people play the games.

It’s the first time the starter Pokémon have been so distinct from each other, the developers said.

Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble The Pokémon Company/Nintendo


Sobble is, of course, the best Pokémon in Sword and Shield, one the developers said is a good fit for trainers that are “kind and caring” people that might be bashful or shy — like Sobble. The frog-like water-type has a large fin on its head, and its whole body becomes transparent when it enters water. And it’s perfect.

The developers said they weren’t sure how the world would react to Sobble, but knew it’d be a hit in Japan. “In Japan, there definitely is a culture of feeling like something is cute because you kind of feel sorry for it,” Pokémon Sword and Shield director Shigeru Ohmori told Game Informer. “So we knew it would be well received in Japan.” But Ohmori said they weren’t sure how Sobble would be received elsewhere in the world.

Turns out, they had nothing to worry about. Everyone loves Sobble and wants to protect him at all costs.


In his personality, Grookey is the opposite of Sobble. The developers told Game Informer that it loves to climb trees and uses his “mysterious little stick” to instill life and energy into the world around him. For instance, if it taps the grass with the stick, it’ll start to grow.

Who’s the right kind of trainer for this Pokémon? The developers said it’s someone who likes to dance or go to parties — someone who wants to have fun.


Scorbunny is the mischievous fire-type rabbit Pokémon who’s super energetic — spreading fire on the ground as it runs. It’s the type of Pokémon who might be missing from its Poké Ball when its trainer wakes up, the developers said, laughing, as it’s always running off to get into trouble.

In describing its design, the developers said its patches are a symbolic design decision to express how energetic it is, a design that’s common in Japan.

Trainers that can keep up with Scorbunny will enjoy having it around, according to Game Freak.

Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield are coming to Nintendo Switch on Nov. 15. This morning, The Pokémon Company revealed that Galarian Ponyta will be a Shield exclusive. Sirfetch’d, an evolution of Farfetch’d, was previously revealed as a Sword-exclusive Pokémon.

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