Pokémon Scarlet and Violet sold phenomenally well on Switch. They also launched with tons of bugs and frustrating raid battle performance that made them some of the most busted games in the series’ long history. Fans have been debating for years now if developer Game Freak is just making too many Pokémon games too quickly, and now The Pokémon Company itself has officially weighed in on the subject.
“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,” chief operating officer Takato Utsunomiya told Comicbook.com via translator at a roundtable interview during the latest Pokémon World Championship tournament in Japan.
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.
While this isn’t confirmation that the pace of new Pokémon games will slow down anytime soon, it is the closeset fans have gotten to an acknowledgement that the current pipeline might not be sustainable. The Pokémon Company—jointly owned by Nintendo, Game Freak, and Creatures, Inc.—might not be the one ultimately calling the shots here, but as the face of the franchise all around the world, it’s still an interesting development in the ongoing debate around the Pokémon series’ video game future.
Even before Scarlet and Violet became fodder for glitch roundups online, some longtime fans were already feeling frustrated over graphical shortcomings as the franchise went semi-open world. Fans debated the quality of grass and trees in Pokémon: Legends of Arceus compared to games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Xenobloade Chronicles 2, despite the dramatic differences in those blockbuster releases’ overall structure and priorities. Still, the strong sense from at least some Pokémon fans is that they’d prefer to see what sort of massive leap forward the series could take with more development time and resources versus annualized sequels, remasters, spin-offs, and DLC expansions.
Given that each new iterative Pokémon game continues to sell like gangbusters on the Switch, it’s hard to see Nintendo or Game Freak massively upending the current cycle anytime soon.