Thanks for all the great games, Masuda-san!
Junichi Masuda is a legend, having worked on every mainline Pokémon game since Pokémon Red and Blue in 1996. Unfortunately for fans of the franchise, the upcoming Nintendo Switch exclusive Pokémon Let’s Go Eevee and Let’s Go Pikachu will probably be the last Pokémon RPG to be directed by the games industry veteran.
In an interview on the official Pokémon website, Masuda revealed that he was the one who worked on the game concept for Pokemon Go. Besides that, he mentioned how interesting it was to develop Pokémon Let’s Go for the Nintendo Switch, especially with its hardware allowing for innovations like the Poke Ball Plus and its unique Bluetooth connection to Pokémon Go.
Masuda also explained the reason for his possible departure from the franchise he’s been with since the very beginning. He wants to pave the way for a new generation of younger developers to take over the next crop of Pokemon games.
“But at the same time, it’s important to have the younger generation at GAME FREAK take over the development of Pokémon as a series,” said Masuda.
“I do believe this will probably be, in terms of the main Pokémon RPGs, the last time that I work as the director.”
For The Future!
With some gamers complaining of the franchise’s stagnation and lack of innovation, this move will inject it with much-needed young blood and fresh ideas. Although it would still be a huge loss for Masuda to stop directing future Pokémon titles, I believe that this would ultimately be beneficial for the franchise as a whole.