Pokemon art director discusses the idea of paid DLC

"Suppose we sell a Pokemon for 100 yen, then we must prepare something that is worthy of that 100 yen," says art director Ken Sugimori.

Incorporating Pokemon as paid DLC could "ruin the worldview" of the series, according to art director Ken Sugimori.

In an interview with 4Gamer (translated by Siliconera), Sugimori said "when it comes to business, the one thing I've always said ‘no!' to is ‘the act of buying Pokemon with money.'"

"That is something that has been said since the days [Satoshi] Tajiri was completely involved in everything," he added.

"The reason being, is because it's one of things that could ‘ruin the worldview' of Pokemon," Sugimori explained. "I believe the reason we don't simply commercialize [Pokemon], is that it's a way of protecting the brand, and for this purpose, we have the specialty company called The Pokemon Company."

"Therefore, suppose we sell a Pokemon for 100 yen, then we must prepare something that is worthy of that 100 yen, along with a reasonable consent for doing so."

When quizzed about why rare Pokemon as given away as part of special events--such as attending a screening of a Pokemon movie--Sugimori said the idea started because it sounded fun.

"That plan came to be after we thought ‘now, this is fun' about the idea of having the experience of a Pokemon who was featured in the movie you just saw, appear out of the big screen," he said. "After trying it out, we had plenty of thoughts [on the matter] and it was well received, and we also had a lot to talk about."

"It's not that we only want to distribute [Pokemon], but we want to give our customers a taste of a new experience," Sugimori elaborates.

"Whatever we do, we make sure it fits the worldview, and make sure it remains consistent. Those are some of the parts we place a great amount of importance into."

Sugimoto concluded by saying that the idea of selling Pokemon might be considered again in the future, however. "If we ever get the idea of ‘this could be fun if we could sell it for real-life money,' or something similar during the planning of a future game, then perhaps we could sell them for 100 yen."

The most recent games in the series, Pokemon X and Y, sold over 4 million copies worldwide in their opening weekend.

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Discussion

75 comments
milesprower2k9
milesprower2k9

personally I'd hate the idea of buying Pokemon - If pokemon ever becomes like Spyro Skylanders I'm out - I already payed for the game - everything should already be in the game :-P

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

Translation: Our online infrastructure sucks too much right now for us to slap on extensive Pokemon DLC.  When it supports it we will.

ZeroX91
ZeroX91

You know free to play Pokemon could work, would it be the best idea in the world? No, but if they were to go the mmo route it would be interesting any stage 1 Pokemon could potentially be you're started they could sell master balls, exp. share, tms,ect... Just don't include legendaries in the item shop.

Crazyguy105
Crazyguy105

If they don't want to do paid DLC, then at least make all of the events (ESPECIALLY the awesome Japanese exclusive) come over to NA and the rest of the world via the internet.


Seriously, I don't mind going to Gamestop, but wi-fi is a much better alternative.

Lhomity
Lhomity

Paying a few dollars for a special event Pokemon is a lot better than traveling to some event in Tokyo or NY, that happens once a year. Not like I can ever get to them. Heck, one of the more recent event Pokemon was supposed to be obtainable at EBGames stores across Australia - neither of the two EBGames stores in my town were on the list. Lame.

Not like paid DLC is new to Pokemon anyway. Nintendo were selling e-reader card packs for under $10 here. Just a few themed battles and an enigma berry.

eze_sl89
eze_sl89

who plays pokemon games appart from 10 year olds anyway? 10 year old kids dont have credit cards, so whats the point of this discussion?

they couldnt afford paid DLC if it wasnt for their parents, i think a game series aimed for little kids such as pokemon, should always stick with content from the original copy, adding DLC would totally ruin the games alike, as the article says. end of story.

riroa25
riroa25

I wouldn't mind being able to buy certain pokemon for example celebi that were only special releases and can't be obtained in the wild or by trading from other games.

Hurvl
Hurvl

They're having a really hard time just giving the new ones a good enough name, what if they needed to think about DLC worthiness in addition to that. You can always hope or cynically count on that people will buy it anyway, but that's not a safe or recommendable way to go.

DoomSky
DoomSky

How about some DLC that adds something to the postgame of X and Y? Feels empty as hell compared to Black and White 2 

jd7904
jd7904

Thankfully there are some developers that haven't completely forgotten that their user base are gamers and not ATM machines.

DanielL5583
DanielL5583

Why would you buy Pokemon anyway? Unless that was the only way to get it, you should just 'splore for them.

Ovirew
Ovirew

It's good that they aren't considering DLC for the games, but over the years they've sold so much Pokemon merchandise, and so many Pokemon games (two versions of the same game each time, and then a third to follow!) that I am surprised they aren't.

I'm happy you don't have to pay for each Pokemon, but maybe DLC could be a fair way of distributing those rare legendary Pokemon.  Maybe they could release them first for free over wifi and at events, and then make people pay for them later if they missed them and still want them.  Like someone down below mentioned, the event Pokemon are kind of unfair, and it's too bad they don't just include all of the Pokemon in the game anyway since the original motto for the series was "Gotta catch 'em all!"

And let's not forget that DLC Pokemon is something they may consider again someday.


ArchoNils2
ArchoNils2

They should sell dungeons with a few pokemon that aren't in the game but were in older versions, maybe one or two new "normal" and at the end an old legendary like Lugia, I would pay for that any day

neocommi
neocommi

funny, pokemon is the only franchise that I would actually buy DLC for.

corrus
corrus

FUCKING NINTENDO BEASTS

rey2
rey2

Wish they'd rather release an app for pokémon storage instead of paying for a storage fee.  There used to be Pokémon ranch.

seriousdave
seriousdave

Glad to see one of of the biggest video game companies taking a stand against bullshit rip-off dlc crap :D

the_repo_man6754
the_repo_man6754

@Thanatos2k So because you think the infrastructure sucks is the reason why Nintendo won't fuck us over? And you're implying that you want companies to fuck you over? 

You need to rethink your trolling because you just posted some retarded bullshit. 

ARsignal11
ARsignal11

@Thanatos2k I honestly have to question whether or not you read this article.  How you came to that conclusion from what was written here is beyond me.

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@Crazyguy105 

I believe these events are meant to encourage interaction with other players. 

Lhomity
Lhomity

@eze_sl89 A lot of adults play Pokemon. Many of them grew up with Pokemon.

Dark_Mits
Dark_Mits

Then explain to me why every single FPS has dlc when FPS are explicitly designed for 10yos. Where do the kids find money for that dlc, huh?

DanielL5583
DanielL5583

Actually, if it's those event Pokemon that they mean, then I can understand if they did consider DLC for that, but standard Pokemon and basic Legendaries I think should remain as is.

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@Ovirew 

Considering how DLC has been exploited and is now viewed more in a negative way rather than a positive, it's something I think Nintendo tries to avoid unless they can deliver it in the best way possible. 

I believe that DLC is best for games that don't have new entries for years to come, games that come out annually should not have DLC. 

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@oKiRe 

So true, and I admit to purchasing some DLC but after a while, I got sick of it, especially when fighting games pulled that crap (one of my biggest joys when picking up a fighting game was unlocking all the characters). While I know I won't make a huge difference, I refuse to let it affect me and since there are tons of videogames out there and I don't have anywhere near as much time to play videogames as I used to, it's easy for me to pick and choose the games I want to play, most of them are games not bogged down by DLC.

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@corrus 

Why? Is it because this article shows how Nintendo is not greedy since you try REALLY hard to prove to everyone that they are?

Hurvl
Hurvl

@rey2 Hah, so they won't *sell* pokemon, but that doesn't mean they're not including other fees related to them.

red_city
red_city

@seriousdaveSugimoru concluded by saying that the idea of selling Pokemon might be considered again in the future, however.  "If we ever get the idea of ‘this could be fun if we could sell it for real-life money,' or something similar during the planning of a future game, then perhaps we could sell them for 100 yen."

eze_sl89
eze_sl89

@Dark_Mits kids play lots of things but FPS are also aimed for more mature people. i know fps servers are filled with toddlers but there are people with 20 something or 30 something playing them as well, which are capable of purchasing stuff with virtual money.

On the other hand, pokemon is just aimed for kids, its is very rare to find an adult playing those kind of games. and if it is so, then that adult has some kind of mental problem in the first place.

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@quickshooterMk2

They already get all the money they want through each major Pokemon entry, why risk ruining that through DLC? We've seen how DLC ruins games in the eyes of consumers.

Go32111
Go32111

@Thanatos2k @ARsignal11 Are you saying gamefreak makes fire emblem? Or are you saying because one company does it the other must do it? Either way it's dumb as hell.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@ZeroX91 So you haven't played any SMT game.  Got it.

I parroted your insult because it was a joke, like you.

ZeroX91
ZeroX91

@Thanatos2k ...So SMT is a monster capturing game now? That's like saying that FF VIII is a card game. 

If my insult was so poor then why parrot it? Be creative son, and who says it was targeted at you, seems you got a pretty big ego for such a small mind.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@ZeroX91 @Thanatos2k @Lhomity @eze_sl89 No, I mean there are far better monster capturing games.  They grew out of simplistic games like Pokemon to better ones like Shin Megami Tensei.

But good job with the insults.  Most grow out of THAT in their mid twenties.  Or possibly high school.

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@eze_sl89 @Sublime408 @Dark_Mits 

Yes, shame on those adults for playing games that they think is fun while we have prejudice people like you judging others based on the videogames they play. You're the same person who went on the Wii U bundle article and said that the Wii U is better than the XBoxOne/PS4, if you think Pokemon is kiddy, then you must think the same about many of Nintendo's other franchises also. 

TriggerManX97
TriggerManX97

@eze_sl89 @Dark_Mits If you are trolling these people, good job you weren't obvious. But if you aren't trolling then you obvously weren't at the Pokemon X&Y Release. Everyone that was there was at least 16 years old, most of them were older than that, you obvously strike me as someone who doesn't have a very open mind and I am actually quite saddened by your existence, Good-day sir, I bid you Farewell.