Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon mainly a project for Game Freak's younger staff, more veterans for Pokemon Switch - Nintendo Everything

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Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon mainly a project for Game Freak’s younger staff, more veterans for Pokemon Switch

Posted on October 22, 2017 by (@NE_Brian) in 3DS, News, Switch

Game Freak has a delicate balance going on at the moment. The studio is currently wrapping up Pokemon Ultra Sun and Pokemon Ultra Moon for 3DS. But as we found out at E3, Game Freak is also shifting towards Switch with its very first Switch project.

On the bright side, handling two big projects doesn’t seem to be an issue for the company. In an interview with GameSpot, Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon producer Shigeru Ohmori noted how the latest 3DS games can be thought of “mainly as a project for our younger staff to work on and grow and develop their skills, while perhaps the more veteran, established members of the company can work on the upcoming [Switch] project.”

Ohmori explained:

“Of course we have a limited number of staff available to us, but we have a very varied staff within the company. We have younger staff members and also veterans who have been working on the series for a long time, very technically gifted staff members. We want to use these staff in the best way possible. For example this time with Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon we can treat it mainly as a project for our younger staff to work on and grow and develop their skills, while perhaps the more veteran, established members of the company can work on the upcoming [Switch] project.”

“That’s an approach we often take: having a growth-based project for younger staff members and then a new project for the existing veterans. Using this project management style ensures all of our projects have a positive effect on one another as they go.”

Ohmori did add that Shigeki Morimoto, who has been at Game Freak since Pokemon Red and Pokemon Blue, is working on the battle system for Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.

Director Kazumasa Iwao also noted the following:

“We always have veterans–really experienced people–involved on the quality control side of things, so we make sure the quality we expect and want to deliver with Pokemon is always there.”


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  • Tlink7

    Not surprising, it is just tinkering with an existing game after all

  • Aline Piroutek

    Younger Staff can make godlike games like Splatoon but they can also make games like Splatoon without a choose of modes(Salmon Run)/maps, ability to store sets of gear without amiibo, off-line CPU multiplayer modes.
    So…let’s see.

    • GoldenTriforce

      Some of those choices were from higher ups :/

      Whether your young and have innovative ideas or not, if your superiors say something has to be a certain way, I presume you should listen to them, especially in a development setting like Nintendo, based on their philosophy.

    • ronin4life

      Limited date Salmon Runs give you bonus rewards and helps prevent Main game lobbies from being empty.

      Pretty good design if you ask me.

      • Ninty Kad

        That’s a good way of looking at it

      • Aline Piroutek

        Nowadays in Splatoon 1 the main lobbies are still full.
        They could give less rewards in Salmon Run and give the oportunity to play the mode anytime(I don’t have a Switch but Splatoon was my favorite game from WiiU)

  • Princess_Eevee9

    Sooo they just pawned this off the Interns/Greenhorn Developers? Uh well that explains why this trend is sooo different and the style of reveal footage have been the way it is now. Interesting.

    • GoldenTriforce

      Reveal footage would be handled by marketing and PR, not the dev team.

      • Princess_Eevee9

        I’m entirely sure, gameplay footage is made by the Developers that are then passed on to the Marketing teams to do whatever magic they do?

        • GoldenTriforce


        • Evan Gustavson

          Yeah, ur I bet marketing is given more footage than they need so they can choose which footage to end up using. Remember, in an average movie’s filming, half the footage is thrown out.

  • Auragar

    Makes sense.

  • Smart way to go about things. Nintendo and its affiliated companies have good sense, and I much appreciate that. It’s sad to realize how few and rare other companies invest in their younger/newer talent.

    Well, I’m excited for Ultra! Thank you, younger staff, for giving me this game to look forward to. I look forward to enjoying your hard work. ^u^
    (And bless ya’ll for Mantine Surf and PokePrint Club. ♥)

    • Princess_Eevee9

      I’m very hyped for this being implemented into Move Tutors and even beyond!

      • Same~! Just gets better and better!

      • If Move tutors aren’t Battle Tree based, that would be a godsend.

  • Like I said they been doing this since Crystal, Emerald, Platinum and Black 2 & White 2.
    But some people here want to say I was wrong but I am not.

  • JasonBall

    Please let us develop immortality before Nintendo senior producers kick the bucket.

    • ronin4life

      “Why have you put us through such enternal suffering… endless old age without relief from work?”

      Shinto High Priest Ultra Prime Minister Shinzo Abe: “For all the gamers of the world… and our GDP. Now, enough talk… code”

      • Yo, this man was re-elected, and I am so worried (and mad) right now. What if this future comes to be. . .?

      • JasonBall

        You get it.

      • Vorsun

        Nightmare Abe

  • Locky Mavo

    Interesting, though this could be considered both a good thing or a bad thing.

  • bawn

    Funny… If sun and moon were made by veterans, and US/UM by “younger newbie staff”… Then I have little faith in GameFreak vets… Cuz US/UM looks to be 100x the game sun and moon were.

    • Buzzek

      No wonder, when SuMo team had to create the whole game, and US/UM just had to take already created game, slightly change it and add more content. They say US/UM will be twice as big as SuMo, so it’s like 50% of veterans work and 50% of younger staff.

      • Evan Gustavson

        More like 40/60.
        They’re not just adding to what’s already there, they’re also changing some of it.
        Twice as big means 50% is “new”/”returning” content, and the remaining 50% is divided between “revised” and “existing” content.

        Actually, if any content was “cut”, then the percentage of “cut” content would be taken out of the “revised”/”existing” content %age and added to the “new”/”returning” %age pool since it would have to be replaced with more new or returning features.

        And of course, neither of us should be counting the mechanics that haven’t changed much since before S/M, only what’s brand new.
        Since the vets didn’t have to “work on it” very much for S/M specifically, even if they are ultimately the ones who worked on it in the first place.

        Also, since they only started working USUM after S/M was [nearly]finished, I doubt the rookies were left out of the process in Sun and Moon either.

        • Buzzek

          Well, yeah, numbers aside, my point is: it’s not like the veterans did a bad job and newbies are doing a way better job. USUM is “way better” because the new team doesn’t have to create a game, but add more content to an already existing one + slightly modify some stuff.

  • Fernando Garcia

    I can’t help but think Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon is nothing but a glorified DLC/patch for full price.

    • MagcargoMan

      Welcome to every third version of Pokemon games ever.