When New Pokemon Snap released last year on Nintendo Switch, it gave fans the sequel they had wanted for 22 years. The game took the core concept of the original Nintendo 64 game, while adding a significant amount of new Pokemon and new features. Giving fans something they wanted for so long might seem straightforward, but The Pokemon Company and Bandai Namco nearly went in a different direction. In a new interview with Famitsu (translated by Nintendo Everything), The Pokemon Company president Tsunekazu Ishihara stated that they struggled for many console generations to make the idea work, since the idea of photography has changed so much in the last two decades.
“With the release of every new generation of consoles, be it the GameCube or Wii, we discussed making a sequel. Taking photos has become something we do every day and its novelty isn’t what it once was, so it was a difficult concept to design an game around. There was a lot of debate about how the gimmick would work, which made it difficult to start development,” said Ishihara.
As a result of Bandai Namco’s success with Pokken Tournament, the developer was given a chance to work on the next iteration in the Pokemon Snap series. Given the struggles The Pokemon Company had revisiting Pokemon Snap, director Haruki Suzaki told Famitsu that the team considered completely changing the game’s concept!
“It’s been more than 20 years since the Nintendo 64 release of Pokemon Snap and the problem we faced was whether or not we should change the game’s core concept. It was a great opportunity for us; reflecting on the game proved to have a big influence on development. The more I heard about what happened during development of the last game, the more it reaffirmed our decision to stick with the original game’s concept. From there, it was finding things within the core concept we could expand on to better suit today’s market,” said Suzaki.
It’s hard to imagine how Bandai Namco could have changed the core concept of Pokemon Snap without creating an entirely different Pokemon spin-off! However, the team was able to come up with a number of interesting ideas that felt reflective of the modern era, including the ability to add filters, crop photos, and even share images on social media. As a result, New Pokemon Snap lived up to the wait, as one of 2021’s very best games.
Are you happy Bandai Namco didn’t go in a different direction for New Pokemon Snap? Were you happy with how the game came out? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!