Will Pikachu live forever? (Picture: The Pokémon Company)
The head of The Pokémon Company hopes that the franchise will go on long after his death and potentially continue forever.
Pokémon is approaching its 30th anniversary in the next few years and despite the inevitable ups and downs it’s still one of the most successful video game franchises of all time, especially once you add in all the merch sales.
Last year’s Pokémon Scarlet and Violet represented the ninth mainline entry in the series, with the first entirely open world game map and… lots of bugs and glitches.
We recently got the chance to play the second and final slice of story DLC for the games, after which it’s reasonable to imagine that a new game (but probably not a mainline entry) will be announced next year. But according to the comments of The Pokémon Company COO Takato Utsunomiya. that will be far from the last one.
Nothing lasts forever, but with some veteran video game franchises, such as Pac-Man and Super Mario, having already had their 40th anniversary, and Atari recently celebrating their golden jubilee, you begin to wonder if some series will literally never end.
That’s certainly what Utsunomiya hopes, as he revealed, ‘Our goal is to keep Pokémon alive for hundreds of years – making sure it survives well past our lifetimes.’
While musing on how to expand Pokémon’s appeal he pointed out how the age of the franchise has become a major benefit:
‘I think in the past, we had two separate audiences – younger kids and adults – but now we’re starting to see a family audience where they’re enjoying the experiences together,’ he told The Guardian.
‘It’s easy to just focus on adults: they have a lot of disposable income, you can see their reactions in real time on social media … But we need to make sure that we are still keeping the younger kids interested,’ he added.
Speaking of adult fans, Utsunomiya was also asked about the increasingly poor reputation of the games, and developer Game Freak, on a technical level. Not just in terms of bugs but the fact that the games always look noticeably less impressive than most other Nintendo first party titles.
‘Regardless of whether we publicly respond, we’re always paying very close attention to the feedback and conversations happening in the communities,’ said Utsunomiya.
‘There are certain aspects where we can’t always be 100% aligned with what parts of the community are asking for and what we want to provide. But we do this with the desire to keep Pokémon going for a very long time, and I believe that the fans and players are aligned with us in that respect.’
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