Play news Pokémon: Big changes to expect after the manufacturer’s departure?
Junichi Masuda, the emblematic figure of Game Freak, leaves the ship for new adventures. What does it promise for the studio?
Pillar of the Game Freak house, Junichi Masuda will step down as General Manager of Game Freak on May 31st : “I was the director of the Pokémon video game series, from Pokémon Ruby Version and Pokémon Sapphire Version to Pokémon X and Pokémon Y, and I participated in the development of many video games, including Pokémon GO. I would like to express my sincere thanks to all Pokemon fans“In 1989, he, who would later become a composer, project manager, programmer and producer, formed his own studio with two other young people, whose title was inspired by a fanzine distributed by Satoshi Tajiri, the legendary creator of Pokémon. Together with Ken Sugimori and Tajiri, they released Mendel Palace in 1989, then Mario & Yoshi in 1991. The Pokémon adventure began with the red and green versions in Japan in 1996. And after twenty-three years of career, Masuda moved away from the development of the star franchise, prior for the release of Pokémon Scarlet / Violet.
In the future, I hope to cross the boundaries of video games, try to bring more surprises, fun and excitement to people around the world, while doing my best to connect people, expand the circle of “games” and help create a richer world to share. I appreciate your continued support in my new role.
That the ardent followers of Masuda are reassured, the man does not get very far. He will now serve as Chief Creative Fellow at The Pokémon Company.. At Nintendo, the same prestigious position is occupied by a certain Shigeru Miyamoto. He therefore takes responsibility for the creation and assists the teams without being directly involved in the development of the games. “Masuda-san will use his deep understanding of the Pokémon brand to develop new services and products within the Pokémon Company that draw on his many years of experience and creative thinking.“, Claims The Pokémon Company.
What does it warn?
Because it’s been a few years now that some complaints have rained down on Game Freak’s work, some players have come to rejoice over Masuda’s departure. Already back in the days of Sword / Shields in 2019, Destructoid wrote “Game Freak and Pokémon Company must take the plunge or take home this year“.
Pokémon Sword and Shield is not level. A $ 92 billion franchise can certainly afford to have more beautiful trees than those in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time from 1998. As for the animations, there is no reason why the 2003 Pokémon Colosseum should have better campaigns than Sword and Shield.
In forums it is the same. “Can we all agree that GameFreak as a developer excels at disappointing fans more than impressing them?“, we can read specifically on Reddit a few years earlier. We accuse a growing ease, a loop of gameplay that struggles to renew itself and to be sufficiently stimulating, as well as a technique that is always too withdrawn. Comments in particular passed on to the release of Sparkling Diamond and Sparkling Pearl.JC Smith, Marketing Director of the Pokémon Company, spoke at the end of 2021 in the columns of Axios Gaming about the conflict between fans wanting to get a story in their hands that is more mature customized, and the creative vision of the team: “There is also a vision of what creators want to deliver and it is all about finding the fine balance.“. Anyway, can we consider Masuda responsible for the players’ dissatisfaction? On Twitter, journalist Joe Merrick has a clear opinion on the matter: “No, idiots, Masuda is not to blame for something you do not like about games. (…) This notion of Masuda and Ishihara as the boogeyme who stops all your gambling desires and who is solely responsible for everything you dislike is an absurd continuation of the constant misinformation and bile spread by youtubers in 2019. Stop it. “
No, in idiots, Masuda is not to blame for everything you do not like about the games. No, that does not mean that the X function will now be added.
Lord, be respectful
—Joe Merrick (@JoeMerrick) June 1, 2022
Pokémon Scarlet / Purple, the good news?
Before Masuda leaves the nest, Masuda will probably not have missed hard work on Pokémon Scarlet / Purple, which was just revealed in photos on Wednesday, June 1st. These two versions will be the first in the main series to offer a true open world similar to the one we discovered in Pokémon Legends: Arceus. Game Freak also indicates that these games will disrupt the saga due to its openness and the richness of its universe. The team also seems to rely heavily on online gaming in addition to trading Pokémon remotely. What, for sure, to delight some fans waiting for renewal.
You will experience a new style of adventure in a world that you can explore freely, at your own pace and in any order, regardless of the main story. Of course, you need to develop your Pokémon Trainer skills, but many other discoveries and intrigues await you. Meet a wealth of individuals and Pokémon, and explore the Pokémon universe at your convenience.
Both versions will be available from November 18, 2022 on the Nintendo Switch.