When Nintendo announced at E3 2017 that a mainline Pokemon game would be coming to the Nintendo Switch, it generated a great deal of excitement. After all, the Nintendo Switch is capable of hosting a massive open world game like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which seems like the perfect style of game for a Pokemon adventure. However, before fans get too excited about an open world Pokemon game on the scale of Breath of the Wild, they should take into consideration recent comments by Game Freak co-founder Junichi Masuda.
In a recent interview with Game Informer, Masuda was asked if a Pokemon game would ever offer the level of player expression that Breath of the Wild delivers with its massive open world. At first, Masuda said, “I think anything is possible.” But his followup comments seem to strike down hope that the mainline Pokemon RPG on the Switch will be anything like Breath of the Wild.
“If we could find a way to make that kind of setting work with that gameplay and giving players a fun reason to go out and capture Pokemon, then there’s always a possibility. Well that maybe is something that the fans want, but from my perspective the Zelda type of game is more suited to having a sword and going out and fighting enemies. Not sure it’d be best suited for going out and catching Pokemon.”
So while Masuda is open to the possibility of Pokemon on the Switch having an open world-style of gameplay similar to Breath of the Wild, it doesn’t seem likely at this point in time. His comments indicate that the team at Game Freak hasn’t figured out a way to give players a “fun reason” to go out and capture Pokemon in a Zelda-style game, and it seems more likely that the game world will be more like the Pokemon RPGs that preceded it than Breath of the Wild.
This isn’t the first time Masuda has attempted to lower fan expectations when it comes to the upcoming Pokemon on the Nintendo Switch. In fact, he previously expressed hope that fan expectations aren’t too high for the RPG, which seems to suggest that Masuda isn’t confident that he will be able to deliver something that lives up to the hype.
Of course, the new Pokemon RPG on the Nintendo Switch is still very early in development and a lot can change between now and its release. Details on the game are virtually nonexistent at the time of this writing, except that the game is expected to launch in 2018 or later, so it’s hard to say what form it will eventually take.
Pokemon for the Nintendo Switch has a wide release window of 2018 or later.