EA was once planning a Pokemon competitor for DS
EA once had plans to create a Pokemon competitor for DS, according to Nic Watt. Watt is currently at Nnooo, but previously worked at EA as a creative director.
In a recent episode of the GameHugs podcast, Watt stated:
“Working with EA was a completely different experience [to working with a small studio] as we had the longest prototyping period I’ve had for any game I’ve worked on: it was amazing. EA wanted this game where the idea and it was going to be their Pokémon game. They didn’t have an RPG in the handheld space and they really wanted one. We did a lot of paper-based prototyping for the battle mechanics and even made a whole card game. Then we got the people from Criterion – who worked on Burnout and with the studio – in [to test it]. That’s the good thing when you have a company of 300 people, you can just ask ‘do you guys want to come in and play our game for the afternoon.’ The team did find it hard because the prototyping was so long, and a lot of things got reset from time to time. But by the time I left, it still had not hit full production and I know that was really tough for a lot of people.”
Even though EA put quite a number of development resources into the mystery project, it never saw the day of light. It’d be interesting to see what it looks like!