As we learned from the recent Nintendo Direct, long-time Pokémon developer Game Freak will debut a completely new RPG currently called Town. Set to release in 2019, little is known about the game. What we do know is that the entire story takes place within a single town, where you fight monsters with the help of your fellow townsfolk. Unexpectedly, the announcement of a Game Freak IP other than Pokémon surprised many fans. The game studio has focused on their most popular franchise for so long, that we tend to forget that they have the capability to create other games.
Regardless, the fact that Game Freak has devoted time to developing this new game can only benefit them and Pokémon. While some may argue that making other games divides a developer’s time, in actuality, it can boost both them and their other properties. With that in mind, here are a few reasons why Game Freak’s Town ultimately benefits Pokémon.
Town gives Game Freak some Switch Practice
With Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! representing Game Freak’s first attempt at making a Nintendo Switch game, it couldn’t hurt for the company to get some more practice. That’s where Town comes into play. If the company creates a new Switch game based on a completely new IP, then they can gain valuable experience on development for the system. This experience can then be applied to their number one property, Pokémon. While some could say that Game Freak could just make a Pokémon spin-off game to practice development, there could be drawbacks to this. If a Pokémon spin-off game gets received poorly, then that would land a big financial blow to Game Freak’s best IP. Also, the overall reputation of Pokémon could potentially suffer as well, even if to a minimal extent.
Because of this, it would make much more sense to use an unrelated game as an excuse to fine tune Game Freak’s Switch skills. At best, the game sells well, which gives Game Freak a new successful franchise along with much needed development practice. At worst, Town sells poorly and the developers write it off as a one-shot project with minimal damage taken. Let’s face it, if fans had to decide between Town or Pokémon failing, they would pick Town. Since the game has little expectations to meet by the overall gaming community, Game Freak has a lot less of a risk when compared to making a sub-par Pokémon game.
Game Freak Gets Time to Make Better Pokémon Games
Assuming that Town releases before the next generation of Pokémon games, the development of the game would provide Game Freak the opportunity to perfect the future of Pokémon as a whole. Town would serve a similar purpose to the Let’s Go! games, in that it would hold fans over until a new full-fledged Pokémon surfaces. When fans hear of the pedigree behind this new RPG, they would likely give the game the opportunity to win them over. From there, Game Freak can continue to work on creating an amazing Pokémon game without audiences essentially breathing down its neck.
Looking further down the line, Town would also provide Game Freak a way to train newer developers who could eventually contribute to future Pokémon titles. Delegating some of the newer staff to a smaller project serves as a method to scout potential talent that could benefit Pokémon. Not only that, but the veterans of the company can then work on the bigger projects that need more attention. This ensures that Pokémon gets the best treatment it can , while also investing in its future.
Fans Get a Break From Constant Pokémon
So far, we’ve discussed how Town would benefit Game Freak and Pokémon directly, but let’s not forget about how this would affect the fans as well. With a new Pokémon game releasing every year on average, most players eventually start to feel burnt out by the same formula. By creating Town, Game Freak provides its audience with an alternative. Those who wish to take a step back from Pokémon for a bit can do so with a game from their favorite developers. Once fans have gotten their fill of Town, they can come back to the Pokémon franchise with a renewed vigor. This benefits both parties in the long run. Fans can experience a great new story and diversify, while Game Freak can rest easy knowing they’ve minimized sale drops of future Pokémon games.
Overall, the idea and purpose that Town likely represents for both Game Freak and Pokémon is a good one. However, we can’t be certain of anything until the game releases. If things go as planned, then Town will create an interesting new IP for gamers, and give Game Freak the ground work to create an even better Pokémon game.
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Oscar is a writer for Culture of Gaming. He is an aspiring video game journalist that follows anything and everything Nintendo. His favorite franchises consist of Pokemon and Kingdom Hearts.