It’s the end of a Pokémon era | MarketingwithAnoy

Since the beginning of Pokémon, there has always been Junichi Masuda. As co-founder of Pokémon developer Game Freak, Masuda worked on the very first titles, Pokémon red and Pokémon Green (Pokémon blue in the States), published in 1996. In 2002, he began serving as a series director, starting with Pokémon Ruby and Pokémon Sapphire.

But Masuda’s close involvement in the series has come to an end. On June 1, he stepped down from his CEO position and entered a new role, moving from developer Game Freak to Pokémon Company – which serves the top role of managing the entire brand, from animation and trading cards to video games. As a leading creative fellow, Masuda will use “its deep understanding of the Pokémon brand” to help create new services and products. Masuda’s departure comes at a crucial time for the series. We are now only months away from launching on November 18th Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violetseries’ first true open world games.

It’s the end of an era. Masuda is not, and certainly has not been, the sole decision maker when it comes to Pokémon games; his last director role was on soft remakes Pokémon: Let’s go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s go, Eevee! But the franchise has been notoriously slow when it comes to change, especially in terms of modernizing content. For most of its 26 years, mainstream gaming followed the same plan: Catch Pokémon, battle leaders in the gym, become a Pokémon Champion. Pokémon remained a dedicated handheld series until let’s go in 2018, followed by 2019 Sword and Shield. Each title was also a largely static unit until 2020, when Game Freak finally began to expand the content with DLC available after release.

Clearly, fans want more expansive Pokémon content. In its first week, Pokémon Legends: Arceus sold 6.5 million copieswhich makes it fastest selling Pokémon game on Switch, knocks out Sword and Shield of 6 million. it has since sold more than 12 mio. red and Violet is already ready to push the boundaries of the series even further. The game will introduce four-player co-opa series first, and long-needed extended character customization options.

As for Masuda, which said in 2018 that it was “important to get the younger generation at Game Freak to take over the development of Pokemon”, he already has big plans for his new concert. “I hope to transcend the boundaries of video games by trying to offer greater surprises, fun and excitement to people around the world,” he said in a prepared statement, “while doing my utmost to connect people, expand the circle of ‘ play ‘and help create a richer world that we can share. “


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