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.


Pokemon X / Y
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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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