Media outlet ComicBook recently shared a comment they received from The Pokémon Company’s chief operating officer Takato Utsunomiya at the Pokémon World Championships in Yokohama, Japan.
This topic is relatively controversial amongst fans, as it’s about the consistent release schedule for the franchise’s video games.
For those unaware, Pokémon video games, especially during the Switch era, have a reputation for releasing in buggy, incomplete states, and it can be argued that at least part of the reason for this unfortunate reality is because of the number of games launched per year.
Alas, when considering how Pokémon is a multi-media franchise, its video game releases are just a small part of the pie rather than the whole essence. So, at least speculatively, it can be understood that these titles must be released at specific timeframes to align with merchandise, the anime, the trading card game, and more.
You can view the full quoted comment from Utsunomiya below:
“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.”
Utsunomiya’s last statement is worth paying particular attention to since, according to the translation provided by ComicBook, the phrasing implies that the current level of quality is what they want to upkeep rather than improve upon it. This is unfortunate because, personally, the lack of remotely achieved potential with the Pokémon games and the lack of breathing room with its overwhelming release schedule is enough to turn me away.
Still, the franchise is performing as strongly as ever, so unless sales figures drop massively (not going to happen), the games will continue being put out as purely obligatory practices rather than opportunities for genuine innovation and growth.
You can check out ComicBook’s dedicated coverage for more insight.
The first part of the Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet DLC, The Teal Mask, will launch for Nintendo Switch on September 13, 2023.
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