Game Freak wants to make a game ‘more exciting than Pokémon’

Game Freak on Gear Project, Pokémon, Town | Masayuki Onoue

Game Freak is a busy hive of bees this year. Their Gear Project released Giga Wrecker Alt. for Nintendo Switch and other consoles this month. Pokémon Sword and Shield are due out on Switch later this year. And a brand new Switch-exclusive turn-based RPG called Town is also tenatively releasing this year. Game Freak talked with VGC about how the company has become more ambitious in this regard lately. The developer has a desire to make something that can, perhaps, surpass Pokémon for thrills.

Programmer Masayuki Onoue, who also directed Giga Wrecker Alt., explains that Game Freak currently has three components: Team 1, Team 2, and a new R&D division. Team 1 is Gear Project, which works on developing original game properties. So far, Gear Project has yielded HarmoKnight, Pocket Card Jockey, Tembo the Badass Elephant, and Giga Wrecker.

Team 2 is the Pokémon team. We’re pretty sure we know what they’re busy working on right now.

And the new R&D division is building a “basic library” of tools for Game Freak projects, so that teams don’t need to start from scratch again with every new project. This division of labor is allowing the efficiency that makes simultaneous projects like Pokémon Sword and Shield and Town possible.

However, since Gear Project is notably Team 1 as opposed to Team 2, Onoue said, “Game Freak as a company is prioritizing Gear Project… more than Pokémon in general. We are always trying to create something that is equally exciting, or more exciting than Pokémon.”

That’s a bold statement! Is it possible for Game Freak to strike gold even bigger than they did the first time around? For gamers’ sake, I sure hope so. I’m super excited to see more of Town, and I’m probably more excited for that than Sword and Shield.

Let us know what you think of Game Freak’s aspirations in the comments!


John Friscia
Head Copy Editor for Enthusiast Gaming, Managing Editor at The Escapist. I'm a writer who loves Super Nintendo and Japanese role-playing games to an impractical degree. I really miss living in South Korea. And I'm developing the game Boss Saga!