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First Blog is concerned about future Pokemon Game Development

Posted September 22nd, 2017 at 11:49 AM by Mister Coffee

Hey PoCo,
Although I have had this account for an incredibly long time, I have never once created a single blog. It's mostly because I don't often have much to talk about outside of responding to other people's comments. I generally can collect my thoughts better after having read someone's material and then forming my own opinion about what they are talking about.

Anyways, I actually wanted to talk about something specific, I was originally going to post this as an actual thread in the Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon Forum, but every time I tried to think about how to explain it, it just seemed to vague and off topic from USM to be a proper thread in that forum, so I thought it might just be better explained in a personal blog.
The topic I wanted to discuss is the overall development of future pokemon games and how they seem to overshadow one another, and in the process of doing so, the pokemon game that becomes overshadowed ends up lacking in complete quality.

I feel like this overshadowing issue has only really been a recent issue, although there is a minor amount of proof going back to generation 4, I feel like it wasn't an obvious problem until Generation 6 with X and Y. I'm starting to notice that Game Freak has been overshadowing their own games by announcing future games as well as rushing their games to meet deadlines, which has been causing their games to decline in quality.

The first problem I have is Game Freak's rush to meet Deadlines. This problem seems obvious to me because they are constantly trying to release their pokemon games during the holiday season. With every pokemon game I have seen starting with generation 6 (once again, I could argue that this really started back in generation 4 but I feel it's more obvious starting in generation 6) it seems as though Game Freak becomes extremely ambitious wanting to include many different features, ideas, and new concepts, but they are not able to properly comprehend how complicated these features are to design when compared to the amount of time they actually have to implement these features for the purpose of meeting their holiday dead line. Due to them not properly understanding the actual amount of time they have for completing these deadlines we are given games that just feel like they are incomplete, unfinished, or missing significant features. It often doesn't make sense at the time we are provided the new game often being the first game of the particular generation we are playing in, but we do notice as an audience playing the game that something is definitely missing. It isn't until we get our hands on the third game or sequel of the particular generation where we play the game all the way through and we finally realize, oh all these features they added in to the next game of the current generation is exactly what we were missing in the first set of games for this generation. Lately with this process of fixing the first set of games to include what was possibly intended from the beginning, it has not only become an apology but it's become a repeated apology to the players, which when repeated over and over again, the apology loses its meaning when they just keep repeating it over and over again, as though they didn't learn from the mistake they made at all.

I felt like this was a major issue within Su/Mo, the game felt pretty incomplete to me, and I had a strong feeling that when USM was announced, that USM would be the game that basically was what Su/Mo was supposed to be. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed playing Su/Mo, but it really did feel incomplete. I feel like if they had planned the creation of the game better, managed their time, and maybe allowed their deadline to be further out then the Holiday season, we might have been able to see the game excel in all the ways that it felt incomplete.
I also got a pretty strong impression that due to OR/AS release for the Holiday season, they were not able to complete the game as they had originally intended. As far as I'm convinced, I believe the explanation that was given for why the Battle Frontier was not included in OR/AS was just an excuse they gave because they didn't want to compromise their future sales by admitting that they didn't have enough time to implement the Battle Frontier due to the fact that they were required to meet a deadline.

The next issue is that recently they are letting their projects overlap one another which is causing them to focus their resources to creating the most recently announced game be taken away from their current project, which leads to a lack of completion. Although Su/Mo had the issue of being victim to meeting a deadline, I think that X and Y had a larger problem of being overshadowed by OR/AS. Sure they had probably the same restriction due to meeting deadlines, but it was obvious that OR/AS was already in development while X and Y were still being developed and that most likely took a lot of resources away from the completion of X and Y before its release.

I'm actually currently concerned with USM being overshadowed by Pokemon Switch. I'm convinced that Game Freak probably were informed about creating a Pokemon main series game for the switch while they were already in development of USM, most likely before they were able to announce it publicly to us. It would make sense that they already have a very large development team working on creating a Pokemon Switch game and although at this point in time USM is probably at the end of its development considering it will be released in about two months give or take, I think that they had their development of the two games working simultaneously. It just concerns me that because of them already having announced Pokemon Switch being in development, this didn't give USM the time it really needed in order to be the redeeming game that Su/Mo needed to further flesh out the features that felt missing from Su/Mo.
Having thought about this quite a bit, I'm thinking the smartest move for me as a consumer who is seeking higher quality games, is to skip USM and wait for further news about Pokemon Switch's release. I've already planned that I'm not going to purchase USM upon release, but I was hoping that maybe after a few months of waiting with the full reveal of USM it might have enough new features and post game that I would be convinced to purchase it after the prices on the game had dropped a bit. However the moment I found out about Pokemon Switch, I have almost completely convinced myself to just skip USM entirely.

This is my personal speculation based on what I have noticed about the quality of the pokemon games since the beginning of Generation 5. I do actually kind of hope that I'm wrong and I really do hope that USM will be spectacular, but I just feel that I'm starting to notice a pattern in the decline of quality in pokemon games recently, and since I have to be smart about how I spend my money on a regular basis, I'm not all that interested in spending $60 on a game that ends up disappointing me.

I would love to hear what anyone else thinks about this. Does anyone else think that Game Freak is creating unrealistic deadlines or spreading their resources to thin because they take on additional projects when they should be focusing on what they have in front of them? Feel free to comment and let me know.
Thanks for reading!
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Comments

  1. Old Comment
    Nah's Avatar
    I've kinda felt the same way for a while now too, that yearly releases hurts the quality of the games. I don't know why they do it or whose decision it was, but I do think that if they focused completely on one game at a time and didn't bother putting something out every year that they'd have the time/resources/people to make a truly great Pokemon game.

    And I'm slowly starting to feel more and more like Sun/Moon was just some thing that they rushed out for the 20th anniversary and that US/UM is what they really wanted to give us in the first place.
    Posted September 23rd, 2017 at 5:53 AM by Nah Nah is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Mister Coffee's Avatar
    I completely agree with you Nah. I do love playing pokemon, but I also love playing well designed games that have a lot of time, planning, and detail put into them.

    Back before Generation 5 I used to buy every main series pokemon title, but since generation 5 I really feel like there has been a significant change in how Game Freak prioritizes their projects. It just seems that they care more about making their deadlines or immediately jumping on to the next big project rather than to focus on what is right in front of them.

    I'm also concerned that they are starting to make excuses to try and explain why certain things are not done in certain ways and even going so far as to even tell their target audience to not have their hopes to high.
    When I was watching the video where they first announced that they were working on Pokemon Switch, I was pretty disappointed when the director was saying on the video to the audience "...I hope people don't get their expectations up too high."

    I do understand that they could be concerned about not being able to meet every pokemon fan's wildest dream, but when they're coming out to the fans and telling them that they shouldn't be overly excited about a new game in their franchise, it just makes the game a harder sale, especially to people who are not hardcore pokemon fans.
    Posted September 23rd, 2017 at 9:02 AM by Mister Coffee Mister Coffee is online now
  3. Old Comment
    Nah's Avatar
    The director for the Switch Pokemon game really said that? That's not really the kind of thing one should do if they want to sell a product....
    Posted September 23rd, 2017 at 12:46 PM by Nah Nah is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Mister Coffee's Avatar
    Yeah, check out what the director says at 2:14 of the Pokemon Switch announcement video. The moment he said it, I was kind of disappointed in how they were presenting their game in the video.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgAbM7s8CdY&t=136s
    Posted September 23rd, 2017 at 1:02 PM by Mister Coffee Mister Coffee is online now
 

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