In 2018, Game Freak took the Pokémon franchise in a new direction with the launch of Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee on Nintendo Switch. These hybrid games combine the traditional Pokémon formula with elements of Pokémon GO for a new kind of experience. Game Freak intends to follow these titles up with a more “core RPG” style Pokémon game this year, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be the same old experience we’re used to.
Speaking with popular Japanese publication Famitsu, Pokémon producers Junichia Masuda and Shigeru Ohmori shared a special New Year messages with fans. The two reflected on the success of Let’s Go in 2018 and also hinted at what’s to come this year.
“Happy New Year! Thanks to all of you, we were able to release the Pokémon: Let’s Go games back on November 16th. Everybody from all over the world experienced the games in a variety of ways: with the PokeBall Plus, by connecting their game with Pokémon GO, and even playing with two players! I’d like to extend my thanks for all your kind words. Everyone here at Game Freak is working hard on the next Pokémon title as well as other original titles – we hope you enjoy them! Thanks again, and see you in 2019!” —
“Happy New Year! In 2018, Game Freak was able to announce both PokémonQuest and the Pokémon: Let’s Go games. Pokémon Quest was a game that presented the challenge of having to develop both the Switch and smartphone versions at the same time. And on looking back on the basis for Let’s Go’s development, we wanted to make a game that everybody could play – a Pokémon game for everybody! The staff as a whole had to repeatedly tackle a variety of challenges to make it happen. In 2019, Game Freak will continue to face the challenges we didn’t lose to last year; I want to keep surprising everybody in the year to come!” —
According to Masuda, the team apparently has multiple games in the works. Ohmori then chimed in to state that Game Freak is hoping to surprise players in 2019, presumably with the new Pokémon titles. While the upcoming games will be a shift back to some of the more traditional elements of the series, The Pokémon Company CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara has previously indicated that the new games will also bring some changes. Back in June, he stated that the upcoming games will “give a good understanding of what an evolved Pokémon game looks like after it has continued to succeed the traditions of Game Freak.”
Source: Famitsu (via Nintendo Everything)