The First Pokémon Games Took So Long To Make Because of EarthBound

[Image: Nintendo | GameFreak / Remixed by Gergo Vas]

The first Pokémon Game Boy games Pocket Monsters Red and Green were released in 1996. But as Shigeru Miyamoto points out, they were held up. The reason? EarthBound.

In a newly released video to celebrate Pokémon’s 20th anniversary, Shigeru Miyamoto talked about the franchise’s early years, working for six years testing what would become Red and Green.


“The reason it took so long was because we were also working on EarthBound. Once that was finished, we were able to move full speed ahead with Pokémon.” EarthBound was released in 1994 in Japan on the SNES.

“My main contribution was working with Tajiri-san and his team on creating a new way to play using a Nintendo Game Link Cable to connect two Game Boy systems,” Miyamoto added.

Of course, Satoshi Tajiri, the creator of Pokémon, pitched the idea to Nintendo, and then toiled away, barely scraping by until the games were released. And the rest, as they say, is now video game history.

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About the author

Brian Ashcraft

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored five books, including most recently, Japanese Whisky: The Ultimate Guide to the World's Most Desirable Spirit.