Pokemon developer Game Freak creates two job listings looking to hire people to work on an unannounced console project. The listing specifically states that hires will get to work on the developer of a “globally popular RPG” and a title that “just about anyone knows,” instantly sparking hopes that a new Pokemon game is in development for the Nintendo Switch.
In the first job listing, Game Freak is looking to employ 3D CG designers to create “cartoon-like super deformed characters, monsters, and item models” as well as debugging and handling data. The project is being developed for consoles and Game Freak is looking for applicants with animation experience and experience with the Maya modeling software as well.
While the description of ‘deformed characters’ is fairly telling, the fact that another, related job listing also asks for those who have worked with the Nintendo Wii U and the Nintendo Switch is another big indication. The key selling point for both of those consoles was that they had handheld, touchscreen components just like the Nintendo Switch. In fact some games only use the Nintendo Switch touchscreen and ignore the console’s ‘TV mode’ altogether so it stands to reason that Game Freak wants to hire people who know how to make best use of the console’s touch capabilities.
It should also be noted that this isn’t the first time that ‘Pokemon on Nintendo Switch’ rumors have popped up. Several months ago it was widely speculated that a game called Pokemon Stars would be released on the Switch. Stars, according to reports, was just a Switch port of (3DS games) Pokemon Sun and Moon.
Information about the port – which supposedly came from multiple sources – was never confirmed by Nintendo or Game Freak but many fans agreed that such a game would make ‘perfect sense.’ Of course the new console hasn’t had too much trouble in selling units, with Nintendo forced to increase Switch production to keep up with demand, but releasing a Pokemon game would help systems sell even quicker.
If Pokemon Stars, or whatever this game may be, is really in the works, then it’s unclear when an official announcement will be made. The job listings say that hires will be working at Game Freak until May 2018 meaning that the finished product could still be a long way off. Some sort of announcement at E3 2017 seems like a longshot but Pokemon fans will be crossing their fingers in anticipation regardless.