The developer ofthe main Pokémon series, Game Freak, has offered some insight into their development structure within the company. In an interview with VGC, they talked about the teams that make up the company and their new R&D division which has helped them to develop even more games simultaneously. Pokémon Sword & Shield are not the only Nintendo Switch games coming from the developer—they’re also working on a new game tentatively called Town.
According to director and programmer Masayuki Onoue, “There are two different production teams here, simply named Production Team 1 and Production Team 2. Team 1 is fully dedicated to Gear Project, while Team 2 is for the Pokémon operation. What that means is that Game Freak as a company is prioritizing Gear Project, which is production team number one, more than Pokémon in general. We are always trying to create something that is equally exciting, or more exciting than Pokémon.”
Game Freak has previously published games such as Giga Wrecker, directed by Onoue, Tembo the Badass Elephant, HarmoKnight and more for a variety of platforms.
Onoue continues, “There is a lot of back-and-forth between Team 1 and Team 2,” he added. “One of the interesting things is that Team 2, which is dedicated to Pokémon, only knows about specific platforms. So with Team 2, engineers can learn about other platforms that they might not have touched before. By mixing up the teams we are able to create this interesting synergy.”
It may sound like a bad thing to some, but what this means is that the developers at Game Freak are regularly being challenged to create new ideas and mechanics—something vital to keeping our favorite Pokémon franchise fresh.
If the studio focused solely on Pokémon it would undoubtedly make for a more monotonous experience in the long run.
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