The upcoming Pokemon games, Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield for Nintendo Switch, will not have HMs, which isn’t very surprising considering Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon previously dropped the gameplay feature. That said, until now, it wasn’t confirmed whether or not HMs were going to be in the game, with some holding out and hoping the gameplay feature would return. According to Game Freak’s planning director, Kasumasa Iwao, the feature simply doesn’t match the concept the team has for the pair of Pokemon games, especially with the Wild Area and giving players more freedom.
“I think they played a role in the series traditionally to be like the relationship between a door and a key; the HM will unlock something and you’re able to progress and feel the ability to go to a new place,” said Iwao while speaking to Game Informer. “We didn’t have them in Sun and Moon, and this time around, we didn’t feel it really matched the concept, especially with the Wild Area and wanting to have this higher degree of freedom. The player can kind of choose how they want to engage with the gameplay. Having the more HM-based elements, we didn’t feel it really matched the game, so this time around they’re not in it.”
As you can see, Iwao leaves the door open for the gameplay feature to return, but who knows if it will. This is now the second time in a row Game Freak has dropped the mechanic, and it’s hard to see it returning when looking at the direction the series is heading.
Pokemon Sword and Shield are set to release on November 15 via the Nintendo Switch.
“Begin your adventure as a Pokemon Trainer by choosing one of three new partner Pokemon: Grookey, Scorbunny, or Sobble,” reads an official pitch of the game. “Then embark on a journey in the new Galar region, where you’ll challenge the troublemakers of Team Yell, while unraveling the mystery behind the Legendary Pokemon Zacian and Zamazenta! Explore the Wild Area, a vast expanse of land where the player can freely control the camera. Team up with three other players locally or online in the new multiplayer co-op Max Raid Battles in which players will face off against gigantic and super-strong Pokemon known as Dynamax Pokemon.”