Pokemon Go's Huge Success Didn't Change Pokemon Sun/Moon

"It didn't affect the development of the game, or any of the features."


Pokemon Go launched this summer and became something of a phenomenon. It's been downloaded more than 500 million times and brought in a reported $600 million in its first 90 days. Now, longtime Pokemon producer Junichi Masuda has weighed in on that success and what effect is had on Pokemon Sun and Moon. Speaking to Game Informer in the magazine's December issue, Masuda said he was surprised by how massive of a hit Pokemon Go turned out to be.

"I personally didn't expect it to be the big phenomenon it has become," he said. "When we were first beginning the development of the game, I really just kind of expected that a lot of people would play it, but as a smaller thing, where people would just enjoy going outside and catching some Pokemon. That was really actually where we put the focus of the game. We really wanted to kind of distill the experience of catching Pokemon, make it a simple experience, you can go outdoors specifically, walk around, find Pokemon, and catch them. I really just wanted to kind of express that concept with the Pokemon Go application."

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As for what effect the game's record-setting release had on Sun and Moon, Masuda said nothing has changed. It was always the plan for Sun and Moon to offer "more of a deep experience." The success of Pokemon Go, however, may help Sun and Moon sales, by virtue of the game helping raise awareness for the Pokemon brand overall.

"Not just catching Pokemon but also raising them and getting into battling. Really just being immersed and enjoying the Pokemon universe," he said. "In terms of whether Go's success affected Sun & Moon? It didn't affect the development of the game, or any of the features, but I think it's going to affect it in a way that, more people, for example, maybe just learned about Pokemon, or came back to Pokemon through Go. I think the awareness of Pokemon in general is a lot higher, so that may affect Sun & Moon in a certain way."

Pokemon Sun and Moon launch on November 18 for Nintendo 3DS. As for Pokemon Go, its newest update added a daily catch bonus feature and more. Some kind of connection between Pokemon Go and Sun and Moon has been discussed, but it remains to be seen what this will be.

The December issue of Game Informer is available to buy now.

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