Whenever there’s a new Pokémon game on the horizon, fan expectations are always high – and that goes double when we’re talking about a sequel to a much-beloved sub-series. For New Pokémon Snap, The Pokémon Company has entrusted Bandai Namco with development duties, and it sounds like the project is in safe hands.
The game’s director, Haruki Suzaki, also directed 2016’s Pokkén Tournament, a fighting game that showed Pokémon in a new, exciting way. In some background scenes, Pokémon could be seen living with humans and interacting with the world around them in a similar fashion to the Detective Pikachu movie, and Suzaki has revealed to IGN that his studio’s work on Pokkén got them the New Pokémon Snap gig:
“Pokkén Tournament utilized Bandai Namco Studio’s strengths and it made Pokémon appealing in a new way. Because of this, we got another opportunity to do something together again and this led to the development of New Pokémon Snap. We were able to talk with the developers [from the original game] and the project started with the involvement of many people.”
It sounds like the studio’s experience with showing Pokémon living in this way has come in handy for New Pokémon Snap, where seeing the monsters roaming around their natural habitats is an important part of the experience.
“The main focus was to build the world where wild Pokémon actually live in this game. To do this, we first set out to create an exciting world by thinking about the environment in which Pokémon live, creating scenery in detail, and also using Switch hardware’s capabilities to the fullest. While doing so, we tried to make Pokémon the star of the game by making them move naturally and with the feel of presence so that it’s fun to just watch them and it’s even more fun to take pictures of them.”
In another recent interview, Suzaki explained how the team decided upon which Pokémon would make the cut for New Pokémon Snap. Consistently, in all of his comments, it seems that letting Pokémon truly ‘live’ in the game’s world has been the focus during development.