The wait is nearly over for fans looking to purchase Pokemon Legends: Arceus. Initially announced in February 2021, the newest Switch exclusive plans to give Pokemon fans a wildly new experience as the trailers dropping for Pokemon Legends: Arceus has been hyping fans up for when they can finally grab the game on January 28. Now the game has been rated by the ESRB, though the details of the rating have some concerned.
ESRB ratings are a formality preceeding the release of games. Usually an ESRB rating is a good indication that a game is nearly ready to be shipped. Digimon Survive fans have been eagerly awaiting an announcement for that game’s release since it was officially rated a couple of months ago. Returning to Pokemon Legends: Arceus though, the ESRB rating is mostly what any Pokemon fan would expect. Given the target audience of most Pokemon games, Legends: Arceus is rated E for Everyone, citing mild fantasy violence as the only thing prospective buyers should be worried about.
Underneath the official rating though, is something that has a few Pokemon fans concerned with the mention of in-game purchases. As a single player experience, Pokemon Legends: Arceus has seemingly little reason to include in-game purchases, especially considering the younger target audience of Pokemon. What makes this mention of in-game purchases stranger still is the fact that in none of the released trailers for Pokemon Legends: Arceus, nor the details about the game have in-game purchases been mentioned.
For Pokemon fans who were hoping to keep in-game purchases away from their favorite franchise, there is some hope, as Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl both mentioned in-game purchases in their ESRB ratings, and yet didn’t feature any. The Gen 4 remasters have been keeping Pokemon fans busy as they wait for the release of Pokemon Legends: Arceus, with plenty of singleplayer content to be found without the inclusion of in-game purchases. Even though Pokemon Legends: Arceus isn’t a fully open-world experience, it still has plenty of exploration to offer.
Despite Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl being free of in-game purchases, Pokemon has dipped its toe into in-game purchases before, though this was through the online MOBA Pokemon Unite. The game, which sees players taking control of one Pokemon and battling against a team of five opponents, has faced criticism for having two $40 skins available for purchase within the Pokemon Unite shop. Fans are concerned that the in-game purchases often found in multiplayer games will make their way to the singleplayer Pokemon games. Though for now, all fans can do is wait and see what occurs in Pokemon Legends: Arceus.
Pokemon Legends: Arceus releases January 28 for the Nintendo Switch.