There seems to be a lot of confusion after Nintendo‘s reveal of Pokemon Let’s Go. Many have assumed that the upcoming game is just a spin-off from the core series rather than a mainline entry. This isn’t the case, as Pokemon Let’s Go is a core Pokemon Switch game being worked on by Game Freak. The misunderstanding seems to have arisen from the distinction between ‘core’ and ‘mainline.’
Pokemon Let’s Go is a ‘core’ entry in the Pokemon franchise through and through, and the game is intended to serve as an entry point for those either new entirely to the games or who have only played Pokemon Go. “Not only have we managed to make these titles great entry games for those who are new to the Pokémon RPG series, but at the same time really provide a new and fresh experience that fans of the series will enjoy,” said Game Freak Director and producer Junichi Masuda during the press event. “I wanted to bring the fun of this more intuitive, as well as widely accepted and popular, Pokémon-catching gameplay, right back to the Pokémon main series RPGs.”
Where the confusion occurs is that Pokemon Let’s Go isn’t a ‘mainline’ entry. Red and Blue, Gold and Silver, Sun and Moon, these are all considered ‘mainline’ Pokemon games on account of the fact that they change up the location, and introduce new generations of Pokemon. Because Pokemon Let’s Go takes place in Kanto and is heavily inspired in general by Pokemon Yellow (though we have no confirmation on what the story will be like) it doesn’t fit into this category, despite being developed by Game Freak.
It can all get very confusing with terminology that can mean both the same and different things, and we were pretty unsure ourselves for a moment there. But yes, Pokemon Let’s Go is a core game, and no, Pokemon Let’s Go is not a mainline game. Got it?