Choosing names for Pokémon X/Y was "incredibly difficult" says director

Junichi Masuda says team dedicated to assigning names for latest role-playing game "practically in tears" during the process.

Choosing names for all the new pokémon in Pokémon X/Y was "incredibly difficult," Game Freak director Junichi Masuda said in a new Iwata Asks feature.

Masuda said the developer has an internal team dedicated to assigning names for new pokémon and these developers were "practically in tears" during the process.

"Tons of names have already been used up, so thinking up new pokémon names is incredibly difficult," he said.

In addition to creating names that fit the physical expression of every pokémon, Masuda and his team needed to make sure the names did not infringe on any existing rights and met other requirements, he said

"And this time we wanted to make the names the same in every country around the world if possible, so those put to the task really struggled. However, the sense of accomplishment was incredible," Masuda said.

Also in the feature, Masuda explained the decision to call the new game Pokemon X/Y after other entries in the series were branded with a color, like Pokemon Yellow or Pokemon Ruby.

"The X and Y represent the x axis and the y axis," Masuda said. "The world holds people with all sorts of ways of thinking, and you can get a sense that they exist in different dimensions. But if you think of them as people who think on the x axis and people who think on the y axis-horizontal and vertical axes-then they intersect somewhere."

"We may think differently, but we all live on the same planet, so everyone eats, sleeps and goes about their business day after day just like everyone else," he added.

Pokemon X/Y is the first game in the series designed for 3DS and launches on October 12. For more, check out GameSpot's review.

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Discussion

295 comments
BlueRunway05
BlueRunway05

So someone cried? Don't we have a lot of species to pick from? Anyway, I appreciate the effort to give the pokemons a name.

ImSofaKingGood
ImSofaKingGood

That's what the X and Y stand for?  I would have thought it had to do with determinant chromosomes since the game has to do with breeding and whatnot, but his story behind the name is kinda meh...  But with this they might make a Z...

genlee47
genlee47

This made me chuckle to myself a bit. I understand they have used a lot of names already. That, combined with the other requirements they mentioned, must have made it difficult to decide.

But come on, naming it Pokemon X/Y made them feel that "the sense of accomplishment was incredible"? A dedicated team of people for assigning names were "practically in tears" over trying to decide...Oh wow, what a hard and stressful job. And they get a nice paycheck for using two letters as the subtitle for the new games.

I have never had an interest in Pokemon, but I just found this a little comical. 

OGKNav
OGKNav

Neat, stopped at Gold/Silver though.

notjustin
notjustin

never was a big pokemon guy back in the day i played i played red but that was it love playing x/y with my girls why do they need new pokemon its like 650 or something right just put them in change the map give team rocket or flare something to end the world about and a new title and thats a game just like cod bf3-4 nba games madden update the look of the game and its a 8-9-10 rated game

dagran2017
dagran2017

Maybe they're running out of names because it's time to move on to something else... Pokémon Gold, Emerald, Sapphire, Ruby, XD and the various others were pretty awesome, but now it's just not interesting anymore.

megakick
megakick

Site lags how is this better?

Warful
Warful

Shit = I give none.

advocacy
advocacy

Shin Megami Tensai games never have this problem.

kuninushi
kuninushi

Wait, X and Y don't represent chromosomes??? My life is a lie.

istuffedsunny
istuffedsunny

Does anyone actually get excited over new Pokemon? I was into the series back when there was only 151, couldn't care less about the new ones. They look like robots and aliens

tightwad34
tightwad34

I have never cared about what something is called. I don't think a certain name is going to make a game or movie better or worse. Oh, silly Japanese.

sergiodoom
sergiodoom

Picachu, I choose you! Really? Any name for those creatures would do as long as they have good abilities. They could name a pokemon "taco" and I'd be fine with it.

SoulScribe
SoulScribe

Incredibly hard to come up with names; Names new pokemon "Mega Charizard." The fuck, even Nintendo comes up with better names. Lol

Bigpather12
Bigpather12

I really don't think they were 'in tears' while naming Pokémon. I mean let's be real  that's  a bit of a  exaggeration.

Bloodspectre
Bloodspectre

You know, maybe the critics have a point. Maybe this IP is suffering through a drought of creativity. Maybe the new Pokemon aren't as objectively good as the original 151. Maybe the game's mechanics haven't evolved as much as they needed to.

But you know what? I picked up X and Y as soon as they released, and 20 hours in, i'm still hooked. I like the new Pokemon. I like the environments, the graphics, the art direction. The gameplay's still as good as it's ever been, Mega Evolutions and all. I still find myself as captivated by the franchise as I was as a 6-year-old in 1998. 

So regardless of what others may think, my hat's off to Game Freak for crafting a series with this much staying power. 

DiverseGamer
DiverseGamer

*sigh*

I'm dying for a new, fresh IP...from anybody. So f*ckin' sick of the same old crap.

Iffy350
Iffy350

Apparently there was some sort of nuclear disaster that mutated the first 150 Pokemon.

Imperiusmax
Imperiusmax

Well obviously considering that there are like thousands of Pokemon out there now. at least i think so , frankly I lost interest years ago.

BulletSpeak
BulletSpeak

At first I was going to laugh my ass off at this as I am sure most people wanted to or did.

However, I then considered what it must be like concerning even the most simple of decisions aboard a team of dedicated peoples. People who have likely spent their life on this brand to help make it what it is today.

I remember my first Pokemon game and how enthralled I was by it as a child. It caught my imagination and gave me an itch to "catch them all". Not even quite a teenager at the time. The cards, the toys, the entire experience was nothing short of a collector's dream and I couldn't get enough of it.

Fast forward over a decade and here I am, still playing it with X and Y easily being the best in the franchise, still a part of that craze started so long ago. It has recaptured my heart after all of this time and I feel like a child anew. So I say let them cry over the naming, I think it does have more meaning and purpose than people might like to credit it at first. It is damned near historical at this point considering the franchise's success and the fact it isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

God bless you geeky bastards.

GH05T-666
GH05T-666

Pokemon X & Y are fantastic, I think the new Pokemon are great!

Username_kun
Username_kun

well of course it is. considering that they ran out of ideas 15 years ago 


gamerINchief
gamerINchief

"developers were practically in tears during the process"

...Do I laugh or cry?

brainiac1988
brainiac1988

Fun fact I just read:

- Ash Ketchum is named 'Satoshi' in Japan.  Named after 'Satoshi Tajiri'. The creator of Pokémon.

- Ash Ketchum's rival, Gary Oak, is named 'Shigeru' in Japan.  Named after Shigeru Miyamoto.

- Pokémon has become the second-most successful and lucrative video game-based media franchise in the world, behind only Nintendo's own Mario franchise.

brainiac1988
brainiac1988

The tv show was always on in the morning before I got  to school. That was years ago.

Only Pokemon game I played was Blue on the Gameboy. Around the same time.  (Oh And I was always Pikachu in Super Smash Bros N64. Used to own everyone of my friends)

I believe that there were 150 pokemon back then. Kinda liked the game.   But now I totally lost track.   Dont really wanna get into it again.

mike24ok
mike24ok

I am actually pretty surprised that these games have gone as long as they have. I remember owning i think crystal at one point thinking that it was going to be one of the last games in the series but luckily that was not the case. I wish i could just go through all the new ones, Pokemon was my childhood and props to these guys to keep it going from generation to generation. 

xolivierx
xolivierx

it's easy..... lets invent names
Kwaburkle
Sprinklyspike
Turtlemurf
Spabongle
Durdysplash
Frogyswirl
Shadowyrhino
Rhinostorm

ZwaanME
ZwaanME

Ah, so it's about choosing the names for the Pokémon in the games and not choosing the names for the games themselves. The header is somewhat misleading because I had trouble imagining that naming two Pokemon games respectively "Pokémon X" and "Pokémon Y" was hard and had led to tears. Naming hundreds of Pokémon in those games however can be quite a challenge.

DaneGamer
DaneGamer

It's not hard, what are they on about?! Simple:

What's the theme of the monster? In our case, let's go with a.. Shoebox

Does it have anything perticularly noticable? Like fangs or horns?

Shoeboxhorn

naaah...

Add a 'Y' to that: Shoeboxhorny


bubba_1988
bubba_1988

Next, Pokemon look left and right

Trol1yFartsy
Trol1yFartsy

I cant believe stupid ass people find the time to hate on pokemon, you guys have some serious mother issues

Rattlesnake_8
Rattlesnake_8

@megakick Everything loads so slow.. site looks worse and they are trying to make basic news articles into videos.. which doesn't help with the already incredibly slow loading. 

chipwithdip
chipwithdip

@advocacy They're based off of already established deities, so they're limited to the finite number of folklore, religions, tall-tales, legends, and superstitions the world has encountered up until now...which is still a shiz ton. Nintendo has to make the concepts, the designs, the stats, the move sets, the abilities, the encounter rates, the catch rates, the encounter locations, and to top it all off, make a name that makes sense all on their own. For 760 of these things. Some of the names are actually sort of clever, too, but it's never as simple as people make it seem.

toshineon
toshineon

@istuffedsunny I didn't used to get excited, but for some reason I was really excited for X and Y. I can tell you afterwards, the games were a lot better that I thought. The games felt pretty fresh, even though they belong to the long running Pokémon franchise.

BLKCrystilMage
BLKCrystilMage

@istuffedsunny I couldn't agree more, but a lot of my friends can't get enough of it for some odd reason. Keep in mind these are college seniors I'm talking about.


abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@SoulScribe 

Those aren't permanent evolutions so there's no reason to give them brand new names. 

RiotRing
RiotRing

@Bloodspectre You sir, are my hero. I despise the new batch of Pokemon. It has become a stale shell of its former self and anything added to it now would be like trying to revive your grandmother who died two years ago.

But you have stated your likes about the game, the downs, and objectively made a comment that did not ignite a retarded flame war. This is a rare occasion and I would like to tip my hate to you.

leimonides
leimonides

Gary Oak....not familiar with the character being Ash's rival, but interesting trio of facts. Good of you to share them :)

theKSMM
theKSMM

@xolivierx I really hope you have a name generator coming up with that nonsense.  Whoo!  :-D

twisted_sith
twisted_sith

@ZwaanME i thought the same lol. at least they also explained the X/Y names. that was very interesting. 

JunoWalker
JunoWalker

@leimonides In red and blue he was the basis of your rival. It was stated more about him being Professor Oak's nephew in the original anime series.