Mainline Pokémon developer Game Freak wants to make more video games that aren’t just Pokémon. Despite the rampant success of the monster catching series, the developer feels that making other titles is still important for their business.
Masao Taya, who recently directed Game Freak’s Pocket Card Jockey: Ride On, told Axios the importance of working on other games. Taya believes that continuing to make other games outside of Pokémon is still important to Game Freak.
“In recent years, the resources needed for game development have grown and grown, so Development Department One has been trying out a style of development where it works with external studios,” says Taya.
Continuing on, it was revealed that the core Game Freak team is the one that works on Pokémon. When it comes to smaller games, they often collaborate with other studios to get them made.
Hearing this from one of Game Freak’s developers isn’t surprising since we’ve been seeing them churn out Pokémon games on a near-annual basis. Considering how the devs have to time these game releases with new anime and merchandise for the franchise, it must also feel restricting. We’ve also seen how the timing can hurt development, as the rushed state of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet shows.
Despite mostly being known for Pokémon, Game Freak has worked on a number of other games. The aforementioned Pocket Card Jockey, which mixes solitaire with horse racing, was originally on 3DS. We’ve also seen them release HarmoKnight on the 3DS, a fun rhythmic platformer, and Tembo the Badass Elephant on PS4 and Xbox One, an action-packed side scroller.
Admittedly, not all of Game Freak’s solo titles have been hits. Little Town Hero didn’t set the world on fire, despite having a decent art style. The odd mix of board game and RPG mechanics didn’t mesh well with players and the game was a critical and commercial flop.
Curious fans can check out Pocket Card Jockey: Ride On now on Apple Arcade. Everyone else can check out Pokémon Scarlet and Violet on Nintendo Switch.