Pokémon X & Y director Junichi Masuda doesn’t see Game Freak making any significant changes to the franchise – like coming to home consoles or going online – any time soon.
Speaking to VentureBeat, Masuda said Pokémon works best in its current format. For example, the team has always viewed the game as a “communication tool”, dating right back to Red and Blue – and that means handheld is the best platform.
“Players would meet up and trade Pokémon with each other. That’s also why we had two versions, just so there would be different Pokémon in the versions to encourage players to trade. That’s also why we had the Pokédex and all these other elements, to encourage people to want to trade Pokémon and communicate with other players in real life,” he said.
“The great thing about handhelds is, of course, that you can go meet people and play with them in real locations. With Pokémon X and Y, we have the Player Surf System this time, the PSS, where icons of players near by will show up as they’ve decided to express themselves. If you dress up your character, that face will appear. You can tap on that person and interact with them – trade, battle. You can make friends that way easily, we think. But you can also go home and turn on the internet mode and interact with players from around the world and do the exact same things – trade and battle with them.
“So one thing that we think is great about handhelds is that they facilitate both of these styles of play – going somewhere in real life and interacting in person as well as being able to play with other players over the Internet. So that’s why we continue to develop on the handheld platforms.”
So don’t expect Pokémon to leap on to consoles any time soon – or to take the MMO path.
“Of course, we hear all the opinions we get from our fans about an MMORPG. But right now, we’re still unsure whether this core gameplay at the center of Pokémon – catching the Pokémon and raising them – would really translate well or really match the MMORPG format,” he said.
“Right now we think the best way for the widest possible audience to enjoy the games is the way we develop them now.”
Pokémon X & Y is due on 3DS worldwide on October 12.
Thanks, Shack News.