Pokemon UltraSun/UltraMoon launches on the Nintendo 3DS exclusively on November 17- but for many series fan, the games are just a warm-up act in advance of the actual show that will be Pokemon on Nintendo Switch, which was confirmed at E3 this year.
However, there have been many who have wondered just how Game Freak (who aren’t a big development house to begin with) are juggling the development of UltraSun/UltraMoon with the still unnamed Switch game- would the 3DS game not be taking staff away from the development of the Switch title? Is the Switch game farther out than we might think?
Speaking to GameSpot, producer Shigeru Ohmori explained how Game Freak is tackling these projects simultaneously.
“Of course we have a limited number of staff available to us, but we have a very varied staff within the company,” he said. “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 UltraSun and UltraMoon 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.”
It sounds like a reasonable division of labor, that’s for sure, and it is a tried and tested development technique- allocate a less important project to newer developers so that they can cut their teeth on it before they graduate to working on the flagship projects. It will be interesting to see how this is reflected in the final quality for both, UltraSun/UltraMoon, and Pokemon on Switch.