After the terrible launch of the Scarlet and Purple versions, the Pokémon Company is considering new development schedules.
It took several years of discontent and the fiasco of the ninth generation for the Pokémon Company to decide to question its methods. Last November, Pokémon Scarlet version And Purple arrived in the bins, not without a few hiccups. The beautiful promises of an innovative open world for the franchise and new game mechanics have been drowned in an ocean of technical problems of all kinds. Slowdowns, graphic bugs and other crashes have made the launch of these titles a real disaster. A wasted potential as the gameplay remains fun.
At issue: the hasty development of production Pokemon. Since the franchise launched on the Gameboy in 1996 in Japan, pocket monsters have followed near-constant annual releases. This spawned the anime, maps, and many derivative products that formed the transmedia experience that took the world by storm. However, the current reality of the video game industry no longer allows such a pace to be followed without a few sacrifices. Modern game development takes time, a precious resource that the Game Freak studio, squeezed by the Pokémon Company, lacks.
If the reputation of the franchise is no longer really in good shape, it seems that the parent company is finally learning from its mistakes for a better future. An interview with General Manager Takato Utsunomiya organized during the Pokémon World Championships reveals a real questioning.
Less Pokémon for more quality
In 2022, Switch gamers were discovering Pokemon Legends Arceus as well as versions Scarlet And Purple. In just nine months, three major titles appeared on Nintendo’s hybrid console. Carriers of innovations and beautiful ideas, these titles have nevertheless suffered from the lack of refinement now characteristic of the license. In order to remedy this, players are imploring Game Freak and the Pokémon Company to reduce the pace of publication, a tip finally taken into consideration.
The American media comic book allowed himself to ask the annoying question during his interview with Utsunomiya: is this famous release schedule really applied despite its restrictive consequences? The COO of the company did not hesitate to respond honestly. “I think in general, if you look at the past, the path we’ve been on so far has been one of constant release, regular release of products at a fixed cadence, if you will” he explains before adding “I think we still operate that way, but there’s more and more conversation as development environments change about how we can continue to do that while ensuring that quality products are also introduced.“
There is no doubt that the end of his answer refers to the state of the latest titles as they come out. Despite acknowledging the issue, the Pokémon Company seems determined to continue with regular releases. However, the company could consider reducing the pace while maintaining a constant format. It still took them the entire Switch generation to understand the seriousness of the situation. Fingers crossed for the next adventure bound for the next console.