Between every Pokemon generation game, there is always a more complete and fulfilling game that includes the best of both versions so that a player can get the most rewarding gaming experience. At one point, the special edition version was the most anticipated version of Pokemon to be released to enable more collecting and in-game side quests that gave Pokemon a much better gaming experience.
The special edition version ended at generation four with Pokemon Platinum and was released in 2008. It was the game that complimented Pokemon Diamond and Pearl and had Giratina on the cover of the game. Platinum wrapped the pairing versions together with even a more inclining story that included a darker plot that included the version mascot. Fighting off Team Galactic all the way into the Distortion World still is one of the best memories Pokemon fans experienced playing the games. The special edition version games did not fully perish here, but they were taken a different direction for the future of the Pokemon franchise.
When it came to generation five and their turn to release a special edition game, the creators at Gamefreak had a different direction they wanted to take that would change the franchise forever. Pokemon Black and White 2 was a direct sequel to Pokemon Black and White; the first time that the special edition version games were separated into two more additional split games for Pokemon fans to enjoy. Even though the expectation of a special edition version would have received a better welcoming, these new games did not disappoint the general audience; in fact, it made it even better. The direct sequels of Pokemon Back and White 2 had more Pokemon, an exaggerated story, and introduced more nostalgic gameplay for Pokemon fans with the introduction of the Pokemon World Tournament. Even before the direct sequels, this was not the original plan for generation five, to begin with.
According to a video by HoopsandHipHop, there was research made on a report for Pokemon that Nintendo trademarked a handful of different names of games that were potential projects, or just did not end up being released at all. One of these games that were trademarked was the Pokemon Gray version, a game that would ultimately be the special edition game for Pokemon Black and White but did not get released. It was clear that Kyurem was destined to be the version mascot for this version of Pokemon, and this argument is even supported with the idea that the legendary Pokemon was still used as the version mascot in Pokemon Black and White 2. The video goes into further detail that the creators did have this plan originally to make Pokemon Gray, and changing the direction of the games was even a difficult process before ultimately separating the special edition games into direct sequels.
The video also explains a concept for a Pokemon Brown version that was abandoned entirely, and the fan rumor has to do with the franchise focus on Eevee as the starter Pokemon. In the Pokemon Yellow version, the primary focus of the special edition was to reflect the games with the animated series, which took off to be popular and Nintendo took advantage of it. In the game, the player’s rival selects Eevee as their starter Pokemon when the player has Pikachu. With the concept of Pokemon Brown, some Pokemon fans can argue that perhaps the split versions of special edition games were supposed to start in generation one. However, this concept came into fruition with the release of Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee for the Nintendo Switch. One can possibly assume that Pokemon Brown was reimagined with these games when bringing Pokemon Go into the core series after its major success in popularity.
Out of all the generations of Pokemon, the sixth one did not have a special edition version alongside the separated versions of the game. Pokemon X and Y were only complimented by the generation three remakes with Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. It was rumored well into the Pokemon community that a Pokemon Z Version would complement the two but was nothing but a pipedream for fans. They also believed that the developers were going to return the stand-alone special edition version after separating them in generation 6. However, this fate was also sealed when generation seven had their special edition games separated additionally with Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. In that manner, it just goes to show that special edition versions of Pokemon may never be released again. This prediction is all in theory and is justified with what has happened in recent years, not to mention without a special edition in 13-years, that it will never return.
Counting out the impossible should never be dismissed. In an anniversary year, there could be a possibility of a special edition Pokemon game released. One cannot also dismiss the idea that sequel-split versions would also present themselves within this year or the next. This was the first game in Pokemon’s franchise with DLC-content; they also just started selling the complete version that includes the DLC with Pokemon Sword and Shield separately. Who knows if more events or Pokemon would be discovered in the Galar region? The evidence is there that Pokemon fans loved playing the special edition versions of the earlier generations; it would be more than a surprise to have that return with a new Pokemon game in the short-term future.