New Pokémon Snap took ‘many years of trial and error,’ changing core concept was considered

New Pokémon Snap took years of trial and error development core concept change considered Tsunekazu Ishihara Haruki Suzaki

Last April, New Pokémon Snap was released for Nintendo Switch. Fans had been begging for a sequel since the original Nintendo 64 game’s release in 1999, so many dreams came true that day. In a recent interview with Famitsu, The Pokémon Company president Tsunekazu Ishihara explained that the development of New Pokémon Snap was the “fruits of many years of trial and error,” and director Haruki Suzaki said that they had even considered changing the “core concept” of the game. However, New Pokémon Snap has proven that there is still a love for the simplicity of taking photographs of wild Pokémon, as the game managed to sell well, in addition to being well received by both fans and critics.

Here is what Ishihara had to say about the long road to development for New Pokémon Snap, via Nintendo Everything translation:

With the release of every new generation of consoles, be it the GameCube or Wii, we discussed making a sequel. Taking photos has become something we do every day and its novelty isn’t what it once was, so it was a difficult concept to design an game around. There was a lot of debate about how the gimmick would work, which made it difficult to start development. This game was the fruits of many years of trial and error. We finally found a concept that made sense on Nintendo Switch and made it.

Meanwhile, Suzaki discussed how the New Pokémon Snap team approached the original concept during development, as they wanted it to appeal to today’s market:

It’s been more than 20 years since the Nintendo 64 release of Pokemon Snap and the problem we faced was whether or not we should change the game’s core concept. It was a great opportunity for us; reflecting on the game proved to have a big influence on development. The more I heard about what happened during development of the last game, the more it reaffirmed our decision to stick with the original game’s concept. From there, it was finding things within the core concept we could expand on to better suit today’s market.

Now that New Pokémon Snap has proven itself to be a worthy successor to its predecessor, hopefully The Pokémon Company will continue to support this beloved spin-off series. Since its launch, the game has received a variety of free content updates, adding new Pokémon and fun gameplay mechanics to sink your teeth into.

Have you played New Pokémon Snap, and if so, what did you think of it?

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Jaimie Ditchfield
Freelance Writer. Work seen on GGRecon, Zelda Universe, and BackToTheGaming. Studied Games Journalism and PR for three years, and is relentless at spreading his love for The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.