Director Junichi Masuda doesn’t think he’ll be directing any more Pokémon games after Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go Eevee!
In a lengthy interview with Pokemon.com, Masuda – who’s been directing the Pokémon games since Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, as well as composing music for the series – said that while he "was probably the best person to direct these [Let’s Go] games", "it’s important to have the younger generation at Game Freak take over the development of Pokémon as a series".
"I do believe this will probably be, in terms of the main Pokémon RPGs, the last time that I work as the director," he added.
When asked what he hoped new Pokémon players would get out of the Let’s Go games, Masuda said he thought "seeing the Pokémon in HD visuals on a big-screen TV is going to be a lot of fun for traditional fans as well as new players".
"The other big thing in these games is, obviously, pretending to throw a Poké Ball to catch Pokémon using either the Poké Ball Plus or a Joy-Con," he added. "It’s similar to the Pokémon Go style of catching, but we’ve evolved it to be an even more immersive experience. It lets you feel like you’re a Trainer really catching Pokémon in the games. I think that’s going to be a lot of fun for all players. My hope is that everyone will enjoy it—not just by themselves, but also with their friends or family joining in on the fun with the two-player gameplay."
Masuda’s first worked on a Pokémon game for Pokemon Gold and Silver, where he worked as assistant director, before taking the reigns as director for numerous other Pokemon titles. Though he didn’t direct the latest generation, which included Pokémon Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun, and Ultra Moon, he did contribute as a producer.
It’s hard to understate how much of an impact Pokémon Go has had on the industry. In 2015 The Pokémon Company pulled in $5.7m, and in 2016 – when Pokémon Go released – the company made $145.6m.