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Earlier this week, Japan hosted the annual Computer Entertainment Developers Conference, or CEDEC (think their version of GDC) where they hosted a number of conferences and other events. One particular talk was hosted by Game Freak’s Keiichi Maezawa, where he discussed — what else? — Pokémon in its various forms, including bits about how assets were developed throughout the series, how models are stored and tweaked from game to game, and the usage of different shaders/effects and the updated pipeline to make it all work. But the headline-worthy tidbit comes from an early framing remark: it turns out Pokémon Legends: Arceus, the main topic of the talk, was in development for over three years starting in the fall of 2018 — one full year before Pokémon Sword and Shield came out.



This is significant largely because of a sort of narrative that’s emerged in the wake of the game’s release, where PLA’s’ more open design and breakaway from the typical Pokémon formula was a direct response to folks getting upset at Sword and Shield’s sameness. Of course, game development always takes a while, and Game Freak is forward thinking enough to recognize that the series could use a shakeup. Incidentally, Scarlet and Violet’s development began pretty much right after Sword and Shield’s ended, meaning that game may have more features and tweaks in response to SwSh criticism. 

There was obviously much more to the above talk than just this one tidbit, so be sure to check out @Lewchube’s summary for more information, particularly on the graphical side of the games (another area that’s proven to be a hot button topic for the series). Pokémon Scarlet and Violet release November 18th. Pokémon Legends: Arceus is out now.


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Written by Amelia Fruzzetti

A writer and Nintendo fan based in Seattle, Washington. When not working for NinWire, she can be found eating pasta, writing stories, and wondering about when Mother 3 is finally going to get an official localization.