Pokemon CEO didn’t think the Switch would sell, talks timing of release for new games

Pokemon Company President and CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara recently sat down in an interview with Famitsu via NE to talk about Switch and their upcoming Pokemon Games.

He candidly mentioned about the Switch that he “didn’t see it selling” and how the great games released on launch helped make an impact:

I don’t know if this has the ability to persuade the people who said a year ago that the Nintendo Switch wouldn’t sell [laughter], but up until that point a machine that integrated both handheld functionality and a home console was unheard of, so to be honest it was hard to know how it would sell. I didn’t see it selling. However, the overwhelming fun of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild made it popular. I think that had a big impact.

The Switch has obviously proved to be a massive success for Nintendo with the console selling over 20 million units so far.

It outsold the Wii Us total sales in just in its first year so his point about great software helping sell hardware stays true as we all know Wii U didn’t have the greatest games lineup for a Nintendo console.

pokemon-lets-go-2

He mentioned games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Super Mario Odyssey and games like Labo that were an ideal fit for the platform, he claims the Switch to offer new experiences that would help reach new fans:

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Super Mario Odyssey as well as other titles also had great timing and is helping widespread adoption. On top of that there are games like Nintendo Labo that include elements you don’t normally see in games, so it’s the ideal environment for a platform. I think this is a great opportunity for us to introduce new games and bring new experiences that will earn even more fans.

On Pokemon he was asked that Pokemon games don’t tend to come around for the new Nintendo consoles until they’re popular in the market and help to increase adoption of the platform:

Exactly. However, the reason that we can release a title at this point in time is that we already had begun development at the time that the Nintendo Switch launched. That’s the point where thoughts like ‘maybe the hardware won’t sell?’ changed to a feeling of ‘our game will give the platform traction’. In a way, our second title this time around will be one of the driving factors behind that.

The Second title he’s mentioned is obviously the “core” Pokemon title coming next year and not the Let’s Go games releasing later this year.

Danial Arshad Khan

Founder of GearNuke.
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