Why Is Pokemon Refusing To Give Us A New Eeveelution?

I have no idea what The Pokemon Company thinks of Eevee. With most Pokemon, you know what the deal is. Pikachu and Charizard are the moneymakers. Psyduck is marketable but functionally useless. Dunsparce is nothing. And so on. Eevee though is much harder to pin down, and new Scarlet & Violet leaks only make this worse.

Eevee is an incredibly popular Pokemon, officially made a Gen 1 starter in 2019 via Let’s Go Eevee, and an ever-present. Eevee and its Eeveelutions appear in Sword & Shield, New Pokemon Snap, and Legends: Arceus, while the Eeveelutions continue to eke into Unite. However, a recent leak suggests no new Eeveelution is present in Scarlet & Violet, which is baffling for a number of reasons.

First off, Eevee’s massive popularity means a new Eeveelution turns S&V from a ‘maybe’ into a ‘day one’ for a lot of players. I don’t think games companies should make their creative decisions entirely around marketing hype, but the simple fact is Eevee would sell copies. We also have eight types represented now (nine if you count Eevee’s normal), but that leaves nine or ten still waiting for an Eeveelution. Umbreon and Sylveon ushered in new types, while Espeon was a reboot for Psychic after the super effective errors of Gen 1, but both Glaceon and Leafeon introduced Eeveelutions for types that already existed. Even if we’re not getting a new type, there are plenty of others the game could explore. Instead we get nothing.

This is the longest we have gone without an Eeveelution. Following the Gen 2, Gen 4, Gen 6 cadence, we should have had one in Sword & Shield. If the leaks are to be believed, a new Eeveelution will arrive at least two generations late, if at all. The anime has been teasing an Eeveelution too, with Chloe’s Eevee. Previously, anime Eevees have heralded new Eeveelutions. Gary’s became Umbreon, May’s became Glaceon, and Serena’s became Sylveon. A few months back, we compiled this evidence and were ready to grin smugly when the new ‘mon dropped. Now we look like a bunch of stupid a-holes. Thanks a lot, Eric.

Do we even need a new Eeveelution though? Well, it’s Pokemon. We don’t really need any more, period. There are a thousand of them at this point, you could make a very popular and successful game with no new ‘mons at all. Legends: Arceus has a handful of regional variants, but no new Pokemon, and most of the variants are highly unpopular, yet it still sold through the roof. I’d argue that if we need another Route 1 bird and Route 2 bug, plus another big dragon that the endgame trainers use but very few players will ever catch, then yeah, we need a new Eeveelution.

My favourite Eeveelution has changed hands three times. Jolteon, then Espeon, then Leafeon. Just kidding, can you imagine? The third one is Sylveon. It will take something special for me to change my mind again, but with Eevee such an interesting Pokemon with huge popularity, it’s a shame that it seems like it's set to be passed over again.

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