A new announcement by The Pokemon Company has confirmed that the Pokemon Global Link will not carry over to the upcoming games in the series, Pokemon Sword and Shield.
The announcement, posted on August 19th, stated that the Global Link service, which facilitates the online play for the current rating battle and online competitions, will not work for Sword and Shield.
"These battles and Online Competitions can be enjoyed in Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield using just the connectivity features of Nintendo Switch Game Sync will not be required for these new games." reads the short statement on the website. This means that a Nintendo Online subscription is required to access online battles, rankings, and more for Sword and Shield.
In addition to online competitive battles, other functionality found in the Global Link, from rankings to events, will be provided through the Pokemon HOME app, the companion app scheduled to release for iOS and Android devices in early 2020.
Pokemon Global Link has been a mainstay for the Pokemon series since Generation 5, when it was first released in 2010. The Global Link website has gone through several changes over the years, updating through three generations of the franchise all the way to Sun and Moon. Previous features included access to the Dream World for Generation 5, the Pokemilage Club for Generation 6, and QR Code Rental Teams for Generation 7. Every generation, however, would facilitate online battles in both ranked and casual formats, as well as sanctioned online competitions.
Most of the online features were featured a few days ago during the Pokémon World Championships, which include a revamped ranking and matchmaking system, under the new name of Battle Stadium.
Pokemon Sword and Shield is scheduled for release on November 15th, 2019 exclusively for the Nintendo Switch. The companion Pokemon HOME app is scheduled for release in early 2020.
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