The folks at GameSpot recently had an opportunity to chat with Game Freak director Junichi Masuda and lead game environment designer Kensaku Nabana about Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee. They discussed what it was like reimagining the traditionally 8-bit world of Kanto in 3D, what changes the development team made in bringing the games to Nintendo Switch, and how the new Mythical Pokémon Meltan was created.
GameSpot: Please tell us more about the new Pokemon, Meltan. Was it always planned to debut first in Pokemon Go? And was it designed in collaboration with Niantic, or internally at Game Freak?
Masuda: We definitely planned to debut it in Pokemon Go from the very beginning. We had talked about in the early stages of even Go’s development that we want to debut a Pokemon, and we worked with Niantic to kind of figure out that functionality. I’ve been working on the development of Go since the beginning as well, so I’ve always had it in mind. But the design, that was done internally at Game Freak. I gave some specific setting directions to one of our designers who was also a fan of the original games and played them as a kid, so he had a really good idea of what I was looking for, based on this kind of very simple metal nut design. He definitely probably had the original Kanto Pokemon designs in his mind and tried to keep it as simple as possible. You know, they were more kind of basic back then compared to some of the more modern designs. He worked on that, and then once it was finished, we gave all the assets and everything to Niantic, we planned the event and had them execute on that, and it worked out.