Do you think it’s possible that GF don’t actually WANT to make Pikachu clones every gen, but they’re forced to by, I dunno, Nintendo or some such for marketing’s sake? A bit of Executive Meddling, if you will. Maybe Mimikyu hints at this by poking fun at the needless (and desperate?) attempt to capture Pikachu’s appeal and popularity?
I think if there were a top-down policy on that, we’d probably see more of them in promotional materials than we do, likely at Pikachu’s expense. That, and… well, I don’t know how Nintendo manages its creative teams, but I would have hoped Game Freak had earned a bit of independence by now. I think they do it specifically to annoy me. Having said that, this is an interesting way of looking at Mimikyu; I’ll have to talk about it in my review.