Pokémon Sword and Shield players will get free bonuses every week for four weeks for playing until mid-June, including the adorable Galarian Meowth.

Nintendo is rewarding loyal Pokémon players with weekly free bonuses for Pokémon Sword and Shield through mid-June, including a free Galarian Meowth. When Pokémon first debuted in Japan in 1996 (1998 in the United States), the “pocket monsters” instantly became a cultural phenomenon, and the Game Freak-developed titles continue to be one of Nintendo’s most beloved franchises. The latest entries in the long-running saga, Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, released in 2019 to critical acclaim and massive commercial success. These latest releases mark Pokémon‘s first true mainline outing on a console in the Nintendo Switch, with the expansive Wild Area offering a level of freedom and open design not previously seen in the series.

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Set in the Galar region, which is based on England and its picturesque countryside landscape, Pokémon Sword and Shield marks the start of a new generation for the franchise, and that includes the release of full-fledged DLC expansions, the first of which is due in June. Previously, Pokémon titles would receive updates in the form of a third version that offered a somewhat remixed version of each base game with new content and various changes added on top. With the introduction of Sword and Shield‘s Expansion Pass, the era of Pokémon re-releases appears to have come to an end.

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To prepare players for the release of The Isle of Armor, the first of the two expansions, Nintendo and Game Freak are rewarding players with free Mystery Gift goodies until mid-June. The first week of freebies started on May 21 and includes a free Galarian Mr. Mime as well as a handful of Pokéballs. Subsequent weeks will offer new pokémon and items until the week of June 11, the final phase of the promotion.

Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield have already raked in tons of cash for Nintendo and Game Freak, selling over 17 million copies total since release. Fans had been waiting a long time for Pokémon to appear on a Nintendo home console, as opposed to mainline entries being exclusive to handhelds like the Game Boy and 3DS. With the Nintendo Switch offering both handheld and portable modes, the time had come for Pokémon to finally “evolve,” so to speak.

Not all fans are happy with the current state of Pokémon. Sword and Shield were harshly criticized by an outspoken minority of the fandom for not including support for every pokémon in the National Pokédex, sparking a controversy that showed the darker side of the passionate Pokémon playerbase. Many of the cut pokémon are being restored over the course of the two DLC expansions, which should placate some of the embittered fans. Regardless of one’s thoughts over the “Dexit” incident, these free gifts should go a long way towards preparing Pokémon Sword and Shield players for their upcoming trip to the Isle of Armor.

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Source: Pokémon Sword and Shield

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