Pokemon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass wouldn’t have been possible before the Switch

Pokemon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Creating the Pokemon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass has only been possible because of the technology on offer with the Nintendo Switch, says The Pokemon Company International.

In an interview with GamesRadar, The Pokemon Company revealed that the ability to create such large areas for the Isle of Armor and Crown Tundra was all down to the series’ move to the Switch. 

“With the Nintendo Switch, we were able to create large DLC for the first time in the Pokémon series, so that was very exciting. The platform offered a lot more to us than the previous devices that were handheld only, and it opened up a whole range of possibilities,” explained a representative from the Pokemon Company International. 

Pokemon Sword and Shield: The Isle of Armor

(Image credit: Nintendo)

It helped though that the team had tonnes of ideas that they didn’t feel fit with the vision for the core experience on offer with the base Pokemon Sword and Shield games. It was actually all of these ideas that fuelled the decision to create the expansion pass. 

“We needed locations that would let these ideas shine, which is how we arrived at the two expansion areas,” explains the Pokemon Company International spokesperson.

“We had a tonne of possibilities and ideas during the development stage [for Sword and Shield]. From there, we gathered together the ideas that were best suited to what we were trying to accomplish with Sword and Shield, and put them into the game. Naturally, however, we came up with a lot of other great ideas, and these ideas are what came together to form the DLC.”

Pokemon Sword and Shield: Crown Tundra DLC

(Image credit: Nintendo)

As always, the Sword and Shield team had the difficult task of balancing old and new to create the Galarian region - bringing in enough nostalgia to appease long term fans, while still managing to innovate and create new adventures and experiences. 

“We know that fans have their favourite Pokémon from past titles, but we still want to deliver a new game world with each title. A new place for players to adventure, discover new stories and meet new characters. A fleshed-out world where players can encounter old favourites and new Pokémon alike.”

But part of that new experience - and expanded Pokedex - came with the decision to introduce fresh characters that build out these additional areas for the DLC packs. We saw a little of it with the main game, but there’s been a definite theme of silliness and fun with both areas that form the Sword and Shield Expansion Pass. It started with Sordward and Shielbert and it’s ending with the likes of Peony. 

Pokemon Sword and Shield: The Crown Tundra

(Image credit: Nintendo)

But The Pokemon Company says there are other things to discover about these characters if you head into the Crown Tundra. “The human characters in Galar have a lot of personality and are very unique so are a joy to develop. Take Peony, for instance. He's a very unique character who appears in The Crown Tundra, and adds a lot of excitement to your adventures there. Players might also uncover another side to many of the characters by participating in the Crown Tundra's Galarian Star Tournament. Our hope is that players enjoy meeting the wide cast of characters and friends within the games.”

And what’s more, don’t forget, “there might just be new discoveries still awaiting players as they explore the Crown Tundra…”

If you're heading off into the new DLC for the Expansion Pass, why not check out the 5 things you need to do in The Crown Tundra?

Sam Loveridge
Global Editor-in-Chief, GamesRadar+

Sam Loveridge is the Global Editor-in-Chief of GamesRadar, and joined the team in August 2017. Sam came to GamesRadar after working at TrustedReviews, Digital Spy, and Fandom, following the completion of an MA in Journalism. In her time, she's also had appearances on The Guardian, BBC, and more. Her experience has seen her cover console and PC games, along with gaming hardware, for a decade, and for GamesRadar, she's in charge of the site's overall direction, managing the team, and making sure it's the best it can be. Her gaming passions lie with weird simulation games, big open-world RPGs, and beautifully crafted indies. She plays across all platforms, and specializes in titles like Pokemon, Assassin's Creed, The Sims, and more. Basically, she loves all games that aren't sports or fighting titles! In her spare time, Sam likes to live like Stardew Valley by cooking and baking, growing vegetables, and enjoying life in the countryside.