Why Doesn't Pokemon Get Global Simultaneous Releases?

Illustration for article titled Why Doesnt Pokemon Get Global Simultaneous Releases?

DS title Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver were released in Japan on September 12. The games didn't come out in North America until this March. With so many games these days getting either global or near global releases, what gives?


"We do our best to make our games so North American players can enjoy the game around the same time as Japanese players, however, we do not want to ignore the quality of the localized games," Pokémon game director Junichi Masuda told Kotaku via email. "In order for North American players to enjoy our fun and approachable Pokémon games, we carefully choose words for each Item, localize the text, and modify the layout. We always want people to play a high-quality game. That is why we need some time."

Illustration for article titled Why Doesnt Pokemon Get Global Simultaneous Releases?

In Masuda's defense, the Pokémon team has been closing the gap between the Japanese and Western release dates. The games are remakes of Pokémon Gold and Silver for the Nintendo Game Boy and have sold over 3 million copies in Japan. But oes the Pokémon team think the games will do better or worse in North America?

"A lot of North American players played the original Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver Versions and we put our best effort into the HeartGold and SoulSilver Versions," said HeartGold and SoulSilver game director Shigeki Morimoto, "so we have high expectations."

Let me try that again. Do you think the game will be more or less successful in North America?


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I think it'll be just as, if not more successful, than in Japan. I don't know about everyone else, but I always thought Gold and Silver were the best— back when the new Pokemon still looked like the original Pokemon, there were night and day cycles, more Team Rocket, and an updated classic Kanto region.

The only thing I hope they change is to go the Red/Green route and upgrade the Elite Four significantly after your second round of gym battles. It sucked to fight the last Kanto gym leader with Pokemon at level 60, and go back to the Elite Four and be fighting level 40's again.