Junichi Masuda, co-founder of Game Freak and a key figure in creating Pokémon, has jumped ship. Now don’t freak out, as he’s not leaving the brand. Instead, he’s joining the parent, The Pokémon Company. He will be placed within a leadership role within the brand, helping to design new products across multiple niches.
Junichi Masuda has been most well known in the fandom for being integral to the design of the video games. For years, the hardcore scene has been using the methods he devised to do the complex math that drives the JRPG core to break the games in interesting ways. It will be very exciting to see what happens after this move. Masuda has been involved in almost every game that Game Freak has ever put out, cutting his teeth on the original Red, Green and Blue.
“I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all Pokémon fans,” he said in a statement (via VGC)
“Going forward, I hope to transcend the boundaries of video games by trying to offer greater surprises, fun and excitement to people all over the world, while doing my utmost to connect people, expand the circle of ‘play’ and to help bring about a richer world for us to share. I appreciate your continued support in my new role.”
The Pokémon Company also spoke about the move. It said that Masuda “will utilize his deep understanding of the Pokémon brand to develop new services and products … tapping into his years of experience and creative thinking.”
This move would allow him to do just that, as he would be allowed more creative freedom outside of just the video games. The Pokémon brand is a massive global entity, and having one of the core minds behind it helping to direct company decisions will be huge. Hopefully, this translates to a more hands-on approach for Masuda, meaning that he can create the Pokémon products he truly wants to see.