With a Pokemon game for the Switch confirmed, some might see Pokemon Ultra Sun & Moon as a hinderance to its development. A recent GameSpot interview with developer Game Freak, however, reveals that isn’t the case – it’s the opposite, in fact.
During the interview, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon producer Shigeru Ohmori explains how the company divvies up its limited staff to efficiently develop multiple games at once.
We have younger staff members and also veterans who have been working on the series for a long time, very technically gifted staff members. We want to use these staff in the best way possible. For example this time with Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon we can treat it mainly as a project for our younger staff to work on and grow and develop their skills, while perhaps the more veteran, established members of the company can work on the upcoming [Switch] project.
Ohmori goes on to explain how one project is growth-based for younger staff, while a new project is for veterans with more experience. This is how the company approaches development to ensure the projects “have a positive effect on one another as they go.”
Despite the upcoming 3DS games being worked on mainly by younger staff, Ohmori noted that series veteran Shigeki Morimoto is working on the battle system for Ultra Sun and Moon. Morimoto is notable for his long history with the company, starting with his work on Pokemon Red and Blue.
This is a common practice at Game Freak, as the games’ director, Kazumasa Iwao, explained by adding “we always have veterans – really experienced people – involved on the quality control side of things, so we make sure the quality we expect and want to deliver with Pokemon is always there.”
When audiences learned that Pokemon Ultra Sun and Moon would release on the 3DS/2DS, they had no idea it would also mark the end of an era. It was recently revealed that those titles will be the last main Pokemon games to grace the Nintendo handheld. That means that, when development ends on Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, the staff will shift focus to titles for the Switch and whatever new handheld system Nintendo surely has cooking up.
While the main series is leaving the 3DS, it’s going out in style. Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon are more than mere rehashes, as they add exciting new features that make them worthy of another playthrough. One of the most interesting features is access to new worlds, such as the home of the Ultra Beasts or a world inhabited by legendary Pokemon. One of the main draws of the new games is the ability to leave Alola and travel to exciting new locations.
Pokemon Ultra Sun and Pokemon Ultra Moon release on November 17, 2017 exclusively on Nintendo 3DS and 2DS.