No one expected the game to become as big as it ultimately did.
Pokemon GO ended up becoming the most successful mobile game of all time– and months from its release, it still refuses to die down. But the mobile game, which brings in millions of dollars in revenue on a daily basis, was never expected to take off to this extent. The director of the Pokemon franchise, Junichi Masuda, admitted in an interview with Game Informer (via Gamespot) that he never expected Pokemon GO to be a big deal.
“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. Not just catching Pokemon but also raising them and getting into battling. Really just being immersed and enjoying the Pokemon universe.”
Given that the success caught the developers by surprise, then, one should also not necessarily expect Pokemon GO to play nice with the upcoming Pokemon Sun/Moon– though Masuda admits that Pokemon GO‘s success will have far reaching consequences for the Pokemon brand, including Sun/Moon, for a long time to come.
“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.”
Which sounds about right- we’ve already seen sales of Pokemon games rise in the wake of Pokemon GO‘s success. Pokemon Sun/Moon are going to launch on November 18 exclusively on the Nintendo 3DS.