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In the earlier generations of Pokémon, when the Exp. Share was first introduced, it was used specifically as a held item. Give it to a Pokémon, and they gain battle experience even if they aren't used in the fight.

So why the drastic changes all of a sudden? I'm not complaining, per se—the Exp. Share has benefitted me substantially, and I love the way it functions now—I'm merely curious as to the changes in the game mechanics.

Is there any particular reason as to why the Exp. Share has been altered so much from the early generations to XY and ORAS?

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I'm gonna be honest, only Game Freak can say the answer. We can speculate but in the end, Game Freak might have wanted to troll us. Here are a few reasons why:
- To compliment the younger audience Pokemon has now acheived. It could've been to make the game easier.
- It could've been added to stop Pokémon falling behind on people's teams, so if you caught a number of Pokémon they could be trained more easily.
- If people had EV trained teams, it would help with sharing EXP around for that magic LV.100 rank.
Again this is all speculation, no-one but GF knows. So,

TL:DR: GF decisions

Hope I helped!

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Just to make it easier on newer Pokémon players. I find it better than equipping in on 1 poke and have your highest level Pokémon do all the work for the lowest level Pokémon.

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Poke...

Pokemon or slowpoke?
I mean Pokémon.