Both Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield take place in the fictional Galar region, according to game director Shigeru Ohmori. “Galar is an expansive region with many environments, containing idyllic countrysides and contemporary cities, vast plains and craggy snow-covered mountains,” Ohmori said in the announcement video. Regions in the Pokémon franchise are often inspired by the geography of actual countries. In Galar’s case, its varied environment is most likely meant to mimic the geographic diversity found in the United Kingdom, a country yet to be represented in the franchise’s design.
While there are two titles, that’s the norm when it comes to Pokémon. Consider Sword and Shield two sides of the same coin. While they will offer the same experience in terms of gameplay, the two will likely vary slightly when it comes to certain storylines, and you can bet filling up your catalog of Pokémon — or Pokédex — will require interacting and trading Pokémon with someone who owns a different version than you.
“That’s not all you’ll have to look forward to in 2019,” Ishihara said. “We’ve got plenty in the works for the Pokémon brand that we hope will delight you.” It’s not hard to believe considering the proliferation of the franchise in recent years. Between the Pokémon Go smartphone game phenomenon, the recently released Pokémon: The Power of Us animated feature film, the upcoming Pokémon: Detective Pikachu live-action film, and the brand’s venture into the sartorial through its collaboration with clothing brand Original Stitch, it looks like your favorite pocket monsters will be more in your face than ever.