Pokémon Scarlet and Violet will receive a fully fledged expansion, The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero, The Pokémon Company announced during Monday’s Pokémon Presents livestream. Hold your Rapidashes, though: It’s not coming out until later in the year.
The DLC will broken up into two parts: The Teal Mask, planned for a fall 2023 release on Nintendo Switch, and The Indigo Disk, planned for a winter 2023 release.
The Teal Mask will send players to a mountainous region called Kitakami, according to a news release from The Pokémon Company. The Indigo Disk, meanwhile, is largely set in Blueberry Academy, “a sister school” of the academic institution that serves as a base of operations in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. Five presumably legendary Pokémon have been added to the mix: Each part will get its own cover star (Ogerpon for The Teal Mask and Terapagos for The Indigo Disk) while three more (Okidogi, Munkidori, and Fezandipiti) will appear in The Teal Mask.
You’ll need to have reached the Treasure Hunt chapter of Scarlet and Violet’s base story — about a few hours into the game — before beginning The Teal Mask. For The Indigo Disk, you need have finished the main campaign.
Pokémon games have always been exercises in iteration. Pokémon Red and Blue were followed by Pokémon Yellow; Pokémon Gold and Silver were followed by Pokémon Crystal. The notion of iterating evolved into true sequels (see: Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, Pokémon Black 2 and White 2). For 2019’s Pokémon Sword and Shield — the first mainline games to release on Nintendo Switch — developer GameFreak did away with the idea of subsequent entries, instead opting to support the game with a duo of expansions: The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra.
Both The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra were magnets for the type of controversy that seem minor but end up exploding into a Whole Thing. Pokémon Sword and Shield did not launch with every Pokémon in the Pokédex; each expansion expanded the game’s Pokédex by quite a bit, leaving a pay-to-win aftertaste for many fans.
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet similarly did not launch with every Pokémon, featuring a scant 400 at its November 2022 launch. The Pokémon Company says 230 more Pokémon will be added to the game across the two expansions, but did not specify which ones.