Game Freak has discussed the possibility of moving away Pokemon games in favor of other projects in recent interviews.
Is Game Freak giving up on Pokemon games?
Game Freak is best known as the series’ primary developer, and their work on every Pokemon game from 1996’s Red & Blue to 2022’s Scarlet & Violet makes them the Elite Four of the franchise.
It’s no secret that the latter hit it big commercially but was widely panned for technical issues, poor graphics, and repetitive gameplay, leading some to accuse Game Freak of having Pokemon fatigue.
We think that somewhere at Game Freak HQ, a sketch of a mythical Gen X and a brand-new region is being made. However, in an interview with VGC, Development Department 1 General Manager Masafumi Saito said that the team wants to try different things.
“It is very important to Game Freak to keep taking on the challenge of creating original games,” said Saito. “I think that creating a game from scratch, putting it out there, and getting a good reception is a great motivator for creators and is also very significant in terms of its meaning for the growth of the company.”
Even though Pocket Monsters has been a smash hit for the studio, Saito reiterated, “It has been ten years since we established a department that deals with original games. Initially, team members did the same thing while also developing Pokémon, so it was hard to concentrate on developing original games.”
“Now we work with external companies so that we can start experimenting with moving on projects on a similar scale simultaneously. We want new titles to come out of Gear Project that are beloved by lots of people across the world, like the Pokémon series has been.”
Aside from Pokemon, Game Freak is known for titles such as Mario & Wario, Drill Dozer, and Little Town Hero. There’s also the upcoming Pocket Card Jockey: Ride On!, and while Pokemon will undoubtedly remain a cornerstone, you can’t blame Saito for broadening Game Freak’s horizons.
What’s next for pokemon?
Although Game Freak has largely gone underground since Gen IX made fans angrier than Jigglypuff when someone takes a nap, rumors of a Scarlet & Violet DLC are growing. With any luck, those who have already written off Scarlet & Violet due to its lackluster reception will change their minds once the DLC is released.
Beyond that, we can pencil in the next mainline Pokemon game for a few years. A new generation appears every three years, like clockwork.
More Pokemon games are presumably in the works, and as with Pokemon Legends: Arceus last year, or ILCA handling Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl as remakes of Game Freak favorites, Pokefans can be confident that the Pokeverse is only growing.