While Nintendo is launching their paid online service later this year, it seems like one of their biggest games may not require you to be subscribed to be able to play it online. When Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee launch later this year, you will be able to trade and battle online with them- for absolutely free. The games do not require any subscription to Nintendo’s Switch Online service.
This news comes courtesy of Game Freak’s Junichi Masuda, who is directing the titles. Speaking to IGN, he confirmed that online trading and battling (only unranked battling, mind you) will be in the game, and that “[Game Freak] don’t have any plans to utilize the [Nintendo Switch Online] service right now.”
Which is good! Younger kids and more casual players won’t have the barrier of entry of having to pay for an (admittedly cheap) subscription to be able to go online with the new games. Hopefully, Game Freak, The Pokemon Company, and Nintendo also continue offering free online with next year’s core Pokemon games, already confirmed for the second half of 2019.