A Pokemon series producer says The Pokemon Company wants to create more full-scale remakes of older Pokemon games like it did with Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen.
There's no question that 2016 has been one of the best years ever for Pokemon fans. Mobile app Pokemon GO became a viral phenomenon around the world this summer and Nintendo recently announced that Pokemon Sun and Moon, due out on the 3DS this November, are the most preordered games in company history.
So it should come as no surprise then that developers at The Pokemon Company are making plans to carry all of this momentum into 2017 and beyond. Pokemon series producer Junichi Masuda spoke to IGN recently and said that the company is taking a look at making some additional full-scale remakes of previous Pokemon games.
“I think the remakes, like Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen, is still an approach we’re interested in,” Masuda told IGN. “With the Virtual Console releases of the original games, specifically there had never been a way to bring those Pokemon over to the latest generation. It had always been that you couldn’t get those Pokemon out.”
Masuda said that services like the Pokemon Bank and the Poke Transporter finally gave developers an option to release the original versions on Virtual Console, allowing players to upload older generations into more modern titles. The original Pokemon games, Red, Blue and Yellow were released on the Virtual Console earlier this year to celebrate Pokemon's 20th anniversary.
Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen may have been the first remakes, released for the Game Boy Advance in 2004, but a more recent example of what could be coming down the pipeline is something like Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, which were released on the 3DS in 2014. Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are considered to be generation 6 titles but they are essentially enhanced remakes of generation 3 titles Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire.
At any rate, Masuda made clear to IGN that the developer is definitely interested in doing more than just porting old titles to Nintendo's Virtual Console, like it did with the original games for the 20th anniversary. But he added that the focus right now is on the upcoming Pokemon Sun and Moon.
“I think that we really want to give people the experience of bringing these Pokemon from the original Game Boy and seeing what they look like in Pokemon Sun and Moon. That is something that I want people to enjoy.”
Masuda also made clear that The Pokemon Company has come up with a way for older Pokemon to receive some of the newer statistics that were not around for the original games when they are imported into a newer title.
“I wonder how they’re going to change,” he teased, “I hope that’s something people will look forward to seeing how it works.”
If there are indeed additional Pokemon remakes being worked on, one would have to assume that at least one of them would be in development for the Nintendo Switch. The Pokemon Company has released titles for Nintendo's home consoles in the past but the series has always felt more at home on Nintendo's various handhelds over the years. The fact that the Switch is designed to be both portable and playable at home on the television could provide some interesting possibilities for the next Pokemon game, whether it's a remake or not.
Pokemon Sun and Moon releases November 18, 2016 on Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 2DS.