Pokemon Legends: Arceus Development Started Before Sword & Shield Launched

Pokemon Legends: Arceus turned the long-running series' age-old formula on its head in a number of ways when it launched earlier this year. Clearly, a lot of work went into creating what was a very different Pokemon game. So much, in fact, that Arceus's development began a full year before Sword & Shield even launched.

That's right, long before Pokemon trainers were readying themselves for the Galar region, Game Freak was already hard at work figuring out how exactly it could give its series a fresh coat of paint. The Pokemon studio discussed all sorts of things about the inner workings of its games at the Computer Entertainment Developers Conference 2022 (CEDEC) this week. Work on assets from OG games Red & Blue all the way up to its most recent Pokemon game, Legends: Arceus were a part of the presentation.

The presentation was in Japanese, but YouTuber Lewchube (via Nintendo Life) has been busy translating it into English. As revealed in the tweets/slides below, the development of Legends: Arceus began during the fall of 2018, with Sword & Shield launching the following year. What's more, Game Freak's next Pokemon games Scarlet & Violet have been in development since 2019, so for as long as Pokemon fans have been playing Sword & Shield.

That means Arceus was in development for a little more than three years by the time it launched, and Scarlet & Violet will have been in the works for around the same amount of time when it arrives. It also seems likely that since Legends: Arceus and Scarlet & Violet were being developed in tandem, some of the former's new features might make the jump to the new games. Reveals have already demonstrated not everything from Hisui will be incorporated into Paldea, though.

Since modern-day Pokemon games appear to have a three-year development period, and new Pokemon games launch on a regular basis, whatever's coming next may already be in the works. Before trainers have even seen all of gen nine, Game Freak might already know a few of the new monsters and features we'll see in gen ten.

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