image

As you no doubt know, Pokémon Scarlet/Violet launched to mostly positive coverage from the press, along with a lot of constructive criticism. It’s clear the games could have used a bit more time in development, as they were quite technically rough around the edges on day one. Fans echoed this sentiment, begging Pokémon Co. to get to work on patches to fix up a litany of issues.

The state Pokémon Scarlet/Violet arrived in got Pokémon fans talking about the quality of recent Pokémon games in general, with many saying Pokémon Co. should slow things down to ensure the quality of releases. This would result in fewer Pokémon games over the years, but hopefully they’d be higher quality.

Takato Utsunomiya, chief operating officer of The Pokémon Company, has heard this chatter among the fanbase. In an interview with Comicbook.com, Utsunomiya opened up about the idea of pulling back on the frequency of releases in order to fine-tune each upcoming title a bit more.

“I think in general, if you look at the past, the path we’ve taken up until now has been this constant release, always regularly releasing products on a fairly fixed kind of a cadence, you might say. Always having these products able to be introduced and new experiences for our customers, and that’s how we’ve operated up until now. I think we’re still operating in that way, but there’s more and more conversations, as the development environments change, about how we can continue to do this, while making sure that we’re ensuring really quality products are also being introduced.”

[Takato Utsunomiya, chief operating officer of The Pokémon Company]

Add Comment

Comments (9)

ngamer01

10M ago

It's called if Gamefreak asks for more development time, give them more development time. Don't make Gamefreak have to hit marketing deadlines by sending out unfinished games. Pokemon won't die if all the marketing, merch, anime, movies, don't release with the new games. Pokemon will die if Gamefreak is forced to keep releasing unfinished games.

The suggestion: Make game releases independent of the merch, anime, movies, marketing. Let Gamefreak develop a duo generation release, let them fully polish them, and let them release them when Gamefreak is happy with the completed development. The marketing, merch, anime, and movies can come later after the games.

Edited 3 times

kuribo

10M ago

Pokémon Co needs to take a break from new mons. The anime can revisit old regions and there’s plenty other merchandise can do without new mons.
Let GameFreak have the time and resources they need. Annualising Pokémon games is making them worse and worse


tendonin

10M ago

"I think we’re still operating in that way, but there’s more and more conversations, as the development environments change, about how we can continue to do this[...]"

Gonna cut him off right there, because Game Freak alone can't continue to do that. It isn't even a little bit plausible to keep that up on HD game development that clearly doesn't play to their strengths without more and more sacrifices. Maybe if there was a second core team working on RPGs (definitely not ILCA), but unless he's hinting at specifically that then this is basically a non-answer.

Treating games as big long-term investments that people will keep playing for years without a sequel constantly on the horizon has been done in too many ways by too many games over the past decade for that not to be a strong option for Pokemon. And no, I don't mean as a service-based model--though it's ironic that Pokemon Go has been right there iterating on itself since late Gen 6. Screw the impatience for getting the next Mario Kart or GTA or whatever. If you have to sacrifice speed, sustainability, or quality (to paraphrase an old business adage), I'd hope most people would pick speed. The Pokemon approach is demonstrably worse in this era. There are few better examples of nostalgia holding back media than The Pokemon Company insisting their current-gen games be made like it's still the year 2000.


the_crimson_lure

10M ago

I'm all for higher quality, of course.

But if I had to rate every pokemon game by how much I enjoyed their gameplay, Arceus would be at the top, and Scarlet/Violet would be next.

Considering how recent those are in the big Pokemon picture, personally I think game-wise Pokemon is doing a very good job.

New pokemon *designs*, now those have been horrible for a long time now...


Didn’t play Arceus but just started Violet. Have two gyms done and the technical performance is killing it for me. Sometimes it even impacts gameplay because I get clipped off a cliff by a battle.
I can see the gameplay is good. But the enjoyment is being destroyed for me by how crap the game runs. I just did the gym where you have to find 10 Sunflora. Frame rate in single digits is inexcusable tbh.


martynstuff

10M ago

Sigh...ok. This'll probably get some backlash...

I think a good start would be the fans being a bit more patient. I see this a lot in the gaming community where once something releases, they want to know where the next big thing is. Prior to the Pokémon Presents, i saw all these comments speculating what could be featured. Unova remakes, Black and White 3, Let's Go Johto and Legends 2. That's a lot of hopes. Scarlet and Violet released mere months ago and yet somehow all these expectations are being made? There's no point saying 'Game Freak should spend their time making the games' if you're going to expect them to announce a full fat game at every Pokémon Presents or every year.

I think a lot of people oversimplify these solutions as 'just do this, just do that' and it gets done. It seems like a certain part of the fandom who really aren't helping themselves. Thinking back to the reaction to the 'dexit' situation and in hindsight some of the behaviour exhibited was...well, horrible (death threats? Slandering Masuda?)

The way I see it is that some Pokémon fans really need to wind thier neck in. If you want better games, be patient. Let remakes be outsourced if it takes some of the work off Game Freaks shoulders. Stop asking for the next thing. Keep your expectations in check. Haranguing employees is not the way to go about it.

I get it. A lot of fans don't want to see themselves as part of the problem. You can throw accusations or theories around til the Miltank come home but really there's so much more bigger things in life than a kids game. I don't know. Maybe I'm overthinking it. There's probably going to someone who will disagree and I'm sure I could go on but I won't. All i would say...

I'll enjoy the first half of the dlc regardless and I'm not going let anyone ruin that for me.


kingbroly

10M ago

Go back to 4 year cycles, at minimum. Releasing 3 Pokemon games of similar style within a year of one another was stupid, especially since 2 came from Game Freak themselves. TPC needs to stretch out their business model.


hawk

10M ago

We've all imagined our own "perfect" Pokemon game, haven't we? I like to think of a game where the world is big, detailed, and filled with life, and it really feels lived in. There are characters doing things that AREN'T Pokemon training/fighting. The routes aren't rigidly defined, there's multiple ways to beat the game, and the world doesn't feel like it's waiting for some player character to come along and activate it. The wild areas don't feel weird and barren, and the game is as polished as Nintendo games normally are.

With the Pokemon franchise going the way it is, that game will never happen. It's a shame, because the franchise is one of the biggest money-makers in video game history. But it will keep feeling like it's always one or two generations behind the rest of the industry because they're tied to a development/anime/merchandise cycle that has gotten out of hand.


smasher89

10M ago

I agree, the swap to making dlc to get the actual postgame content is really putting them from one of the best companies in the industry (that didnt make dlc) to worst (dripfeeding content in form of raids for engagement and dlc to make you get the same starters and a new mythical a year later instead of a full new game with new twists over the older version, and also making the dlc version exclusive as well so you dont get the benefit of the digital only release that only they get having the flag you swap depending on "version"). Game Freak used to be my favorite game company but they have fallen alot (monolith soft has that spot now for sure), more time between releases of FULL games, and spinoffs tied to the generations to keep them still having the steady income must be better overall (even if s/v numbers are strong).