Since Pokémon is such a heavily-commercialized series, a lot of information about future plans for games, movies, and other features get leaked early because the merchandise is shown off before anything is officially announced.
And that trend has seemingly continued after a huge wave of information about the new Pokémon anime and upcoming merchandise was just leaked, including the re-release of items heavily featuring generation four. All of this points to the highly-anticipated Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remakes potentially making an appearance in some form during 2020.
No official images are available since most of the information was just marketing and sales data, but Paul Ryan, the owner of Pokéshopper, claims that the leak is accurate. Ryan specifically points out the inclusion of Pachirisu in a video breaking down the information.
It’s common for Pokémon like Arceus, Dialga, and Palkia to be featured on merchandise because legendary Pokémon always sell, which is why listing smaller Pokémon from Sinnoh is huge. Pachirisu is popular, but not to the level of legendary Pokémon or the starters of the region. So this is a potential sign that the remakes might be coming.
Ryan also said that massive companies like Rakuten have already started publicly listing the items in Japan, which is likely so that the marketing teams can begin creating official business plans. All of the items talked about in the leak are listed for December 2019 or 2020.
This seems like a very calculated move by The Pokémon Company in an effort to drum up hype and nostalgia around the fourth generation of Pokémon again. This could lead to one big marketing push that will likely culminate in fans finally getting Diamond and Pearl remakes.
Pokémon has already released remakes for Kanto with FireRed and LeafGreen (2004), Johto with HeartGold and SoulSilver (2009), and Hoenn with Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire (2014). Keeping on that schedule, a 2019 release for the Sinnoh remakes would put exactly five years between each remastered version.
This also matches up with how Kanto Pokémon started making a reappearance in marketing and merchandise in 2016 and 2017 as a way to promote Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee!
It wouldn’t be surprising to see these titles come out in 2021, if they actually happen, but Ryan is adamant that the games will be released next year.
Outside of a remake, there doesn’t seem to be a reason for Pokémon to promote the fourth generation right now since Sword and Shield are going to be released soon. Even Pokémon Go has moved on and is now including generation five Pokémon.
It isn’t unheard of for Pokémon to just drop merchandise for older generations, but the timing and heavy emphasis on 2020 really looks like things add up to trainers possibly getting a chance to travel back to Sinnoh.