Buying Pokémon as DLC would fundamentally break Pokémon games, according to series art director Ken Sugimori.
In an interview with 4Gamer (translated by Siliconera), Sugimori explained how DLC is incongruous with the core tenet of Pokémon—finding and collecting pocket monsters—and something he’s adamantly opposed for years.
“When it comes to business, the one thing I’ve always said no to is the act of buying Pokémon with money,” Sugimori told 4Gamer. “That is something that has been said since the days [Game Freak founder Satoshi] Tajiri was completely involved in everything.
“The reason being, is because it’s one of [the] things that could ruin the worldview of Pokémon. I believe the reason we don’t simply commercialize [Pokémon] is that it’s a way of protecting the brand, and for this purpose, we have the specialty company called The Pokémon Company. Therefore, suppose we sell a Pokémon for 100 yen, then we must prepare something that is worthy of that 100 yen, along with a reasonable consent for doing so.”
Sugimori told 4Gamer that the idea isn’t completely off the table, though, so long as the development team could find a way to integrate DLC purchases in a way that maintained the spirit of a Pokémon experience in the same fashion as the way they give out legendary Pokémon for free during screenings of Pokémon movies in theaters.
“If we ever get the idea of, ‘This could be fun if we could sell it for real-life money,’ or something similar during the planning of a future game, then perhaps we could sell [Pokémon] for 100 yen.”
The latest—and still DLC-free—pair of Pokémon games, X and Y, launched on Nintendo 3DS earlier this month. For more on how X and Y represent something of a revival for the franchise, check out Ray’s review.