When you think of developer Game Freak, you think about Pokémon. The Japanese studio has almost exclusively worked on the Pokémon franchise since its launch in 1996.
The occasional non-Pokémon game has been released by Game Freak, such as 2005’s Drill Dozer and 2012’s HarmoKnight. Now, the studio is interested in leaning into more non-Pokémon games.
Game Freak released a new game called Pocket Card Jockey: Ride On! for iOS and Mac. It’s a sequel to 2013’s Pocket Card Jockey, which has become a cult favorite. While speaking to Axios, the game’s director, Masao Taya, discussed making games that aren’t Pokémon.
We believe that it is very important for the studio to continue making and releasing titles outside of the Pokémon series,” Taya said. “In recent years, the resources needed for game development have grown and grown, so Development Department One has been trying out a style of development where it works with external studios.”
As of late, it feels like Game Freak has been releasing Pokémon games on an annual basis. In 2022, they released two full-length titles: Pokémon Legends: Arceus and Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. There’s most likely a lot of burnout at the studio. So it’s totally understandable why Taya stresses the importance of making games beyond the Pokémon series.