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This couldn't last forever, of course, because the series needed to move on. When Game Freak started working on Ruby and Sapphire, the first of the third generation games, they must have decided very early on that it would ditch many of the staples of the previous two generations. When you look at how much is shared between the RBY and GSC games, you realise just how bold a move this was, and it becomes clear that it would have been difficult to do this without upsetting a large proportion of the fandom in one way or another.
[[File:Ruby EN boxart.
jpg|thumb|Pokémon Ruby Boxart]]
Although this was a painful shift, especially for the fandom, the need to update the data structure of the Pokémon themselves was overwhelming. To keep connectivity with the first generation, both gender and shininess had been tied to IV's in the second generation, adding yet more to be determined by these numbers would have led to numerous strange incidents where only certain combination of features were possible, plus left extras such as ribbons impossible. While the move did alienate many fans, I think that the number of fans who supposedly "left the fandom" because of this are overstated: after-all we must remember that Pokémon was losing the super-popularity it had held for the years beforehand anyway, and so sales would be expected to drop regardless.
[[File:Sapphire EN boxart.
jpg|thumb|left|Pokémon Sapphire Boxart]]
Some may claim that Generation IV makes the third generation games obsolete, and yes, I admit that most of what Generation III introduced the fourth does better. We must not forget, however, that in reality Generation IV is more actually Generation III+, for compared to what happened previously between generations, precious little other than the split in physical and special moves happened game play wise. When you compare this to breeding, genders, the splitting of the special stat and held items of the second generation and the natures, abilities, double battles and contests of the third, then suddenly the fourth generation is revealed for what it truly is, an evolution rather a revolution.