After a decade and a half, the core gameplay of Pokemon is very much the same. Folks battle, Pokémon have the same amount of moves as John Cena and there’s a rock-paper-scissors foundation to matching and beating certain Pokémon types. And don’t expect that to change anytime soon.
Speaking to VentureBeat, Pokémon X & Y director Junichi Masuda said that the franchise won’t be making any massive changes in the future. Which rules out a jump onto bigger hardware platforms or more online options.
That’s because Pokémon works best in the form that it already has according to Masuda, as a ”communication tool”.
“Players would meet up and trade Pokémon with each other. That’s also why we had two versions, just so there would be different Pokémon in the versions to encourage players to trade. That’s also why we had the Pokédex and all these other elements, to encourage people to want to trade Pokémon and communicate with other players in real life,” Masuda said.
The great thing about handhelds is, of course, that you can go meet people and play with them in real locations. With Pokémon X and Y, we have the Player Surf System this time, the PSS, where icons of players near by will show up as they’ve decided to express themselves. If you dress up your character, that face will appear.
You can tap on that person and interact with them – trade, battle. You can make friends that way easily, we think. But you can also go home and turn on the internet mode and interact with players from around the world and do the exact same things – trade and battle with them.
So one thing that we think is great about handhelds is that they facilitate both of these styles of play – going somewhere in real life and interacting in person as well as being able to play with other players over the Internet. So that’s why we continue to develop on the handheld platforms.
That’s a dedication to the series format that also means that we won’t see a Pokémon MMO. Ever:
Of course, we hear all the opinions we get from our fans about an MMORPG. But right now, we’re still unsure whether this core gameplay at the center of Pokémon – catching the Pokémon and raising them – would really translate well or really match the MMORPG format.
Right now we think the best way for the widest possible audience to enjoy the games is the way we develop them now.
That’s not to say that other Pokémon games won’t make their way onto the Wii U in the future. There’s a ton of cash to be squeezed out from the franchise, and while I’d love to see a proper Pokemon game on a bigger screen, I tend to agree with Masuda.
They’ve focused on bringing the core games to one platform, and it’s worked well so far. So don’t fix it if it ain’t broke.