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: Any chance we see Pikachu’s scrapped evolution, Gorochu, someday?
Masuda: You’re probably not going to see it. None of the Pokemon that we worked on, got to a point, and then discarded them have actually ever re-appeared yet, so I would say the chances are low. One of the reasons for that is that we always have this base criteria at Game Freak of being able to explain why a certain Pokemon is in the world or why it exists in that world, trying to make it feel believable within the fantasy. And usually the ones that get rejected are Pokemon that we weren’t able to justify, I think. Usually there’s a reason for why they weren’t implemented, and as long as that reason still exists, they probably won’t be put in the game.
We always say Pokemon isn’t a “character game.” It’s not a game where it’s just the characters, but it’s a game that shows this world where these living creatures are existing in a space. That’s kind of a slight nuance, but that’s what we always try to go for at Game Freak. It’s not good enough that they’re just cute. (Laughs) They have to have something more to it.
Nabana: I’ve worked on Pokemon designs myself and it really is a very arduous, time consuming process. You’ve got to talk to a lot of people, a lot of back-and-forth and really be able to justify it before we get to a final design.