Game Freak’s formula for releasing Pokemon games may be getting shaken up, as a leak suggests that Pokemon Black 3 and White 3 are inbound instead of a remake.
The Pokemon Company has generally followed a formula when it comes to releasing new Pokemon games. A new generation begins with a pair of games, then a follow-up comes out, and then the generation closes with a remake of a previous game. This formula hasn’t necessarily been rigid and recent Pokemon games have DLC instead of a third title, but that pattern has been in place since the Game Boy Advance.
Pokemon Black and White blew up that formula in generation five, with no remaster coming out during that generation and the games receiving full sequels instead of the cartridge equivalent of an expansion pack. The Unovan titles may be set to do that again, with Pokemon Black 3 and White 3 potentially inbound.
Will there be a Pokemon Black 3 and White 3 or remake?
Fans may be getting Pokemon Black 3 and White 3 instead of a remake of the gen-five games.
Speculation surrounding this stems from hints dropped by regular Pokemon leaker Riddler Khu. As their name suggests, Riddler Khu often posts Pokemon leaks in the form of riddles. Over recent weeks, they have been dropping hints regarding the next Pokemon games and how they relate to some of the artwork and characters officially revealed for the Pokemon Scarlet and Violet DLC. While this might sound strange, Riddler Khu has been at the center of a number of major leaks related to Pokemon games. Included in this were a number of accurate spoilers for at-the-time unrevealed new Pokemon in Scarlet and Violet.
Riddler Khu’s posts are typically quite vague but one of the readings of their recent hints is that a new game based on the Unova region will come out. This idea also thematically fits with recent Pokemon games, as well as the original gen-five titles.
Every Pokemon game since Sword and Shield has had some sort of time-travel theme or storyline. The story of Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl centers around Cyrus trying to travel back to the dawn of the universe, Pokemon Legends: Arceus starts with the main character being sent back in time, and Scarlet and Violet have Area Zero and the Paradox Pokemon. The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero DLC seems set to continue this with the Teal Mask having a past theme and the Indigo Disk having a futuristic setting.
Pokemon Black and White was the first game to play with this idea, with Black being themed around the future while White was themed around the past. Couple that with the fact that Black and White received sequels in Black 2 and White 2, and it makes sense that Game Freak would do something special for the Unovan games.
When will the Pokemon Black and White remakes or sequels come out?
The Pokemon Black and White sequels or remakes are likely going to come out in late 2024, regardless of what Game Freak is planning.
The Pokemon mainline game release schedule since Pokemon Sun and Moon has been to start a new generation, release a follow-up the next year, release a remake a year later, then start over. Generation seven fell into this pattern and timing with Sun and Moon, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, and Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee. Generation eight did as well with Sword and Shield, the Sword and Shield DLC, and Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl.
It’s possible that plans could change, particularly as it relates to the release of a possible Nintendo Switch successor. But Pokemon has seen mainline game content released in the fourth quarter of 10 of the last 11 years. Pokemon fans can most certainly expect something significant to come out around that time.