Though it’s certainly tapered off by this point, it’s impossible to dispute the fact that Pokémon GO had a pretty colossal debut. One would think that the developers behind this game would’ve realized in advance the kind of appeal that an AR Pokémon game would have, but it’s also well documented that they were grossly underprepared for the tidal wave of demand around it in the first couple months. Oddly enough, it seems that Junichi Masuda shared the views of Niantic’s developers; he expected it to be only a modest success.
Game Informer recently talked a bit with the Pokémon Director to get his input on the game and its bearing on Pokémon Sun and Moon. He mentioned that he expected it to be a “smaller thing” and that the game was specifically designed to be a simple experience.
I personally didn’t expect it to be the big phenomenon it has become. When we were first beginning the development of the game, I really just kind of expected that a lot of people would play it, but as a smaller thing, where people would just enjoy going outside and catching some Pokemon. That was really actually where we put the focus of the game. We really wanted to kind of distill the experience of catching Pokemon, make it a simple experience, you can go outdoors specifically, walk around, find Pokemon, and catch them. I really just wanted to kind of express that concept with the Pokemon Go application. Not just catching Pokemon but also raising them and getting into battling. Really just being immersed and enjoying the Pokemon universe.
From here, he discussed its impact on Sun and Moon. He was keen to point out that its success had no bearing on the development of Sun and Moon from a gameplay or feature standpoint, though it obviously ratcheted the franchise’s popularity up a few notches:
In terms of whether Go’s success affected Sun & Moon? It didn’t affect the development of the game, or any of the features, but I think it’s going to affect it in a way that, more people, for example, maybe just learned about Pokemon, or came back to Pokemon through Go. I think the awareness of Pokemon in general is a lot higher, so that may affect Sun & Moon in a certain way.
What do you think? Would you like to see some GO features in a mainstream Pokemon game? To what extent do you think GO has impacted the excitement around Sun and Moon? Share your thoughts in the comments below.