One of the most anticipated games of the past year has been the Pokemon RPG for the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo announced the development of a Pokemon game for the Switch back in 2017 at E3 – the massive video game expo. They were very open at the time however that it may be a while until fans were going to see the game in action. As a result, there has been constant speculation as to when that “while” may finally end. The furor over the game’s release turned a new page this past weekend on a possibly/possibly not innocuous statement by Junichi Masuda, a long time Gamefreak Developer.
What Did He Say?
Masuda was attending an event at the Pokemon Center in Tokyo when he asked an excited crowd whether they had Nintendo Switches, and then encouraged those in the crowd who did not to buy one. To first address the obvious, it shouldn’t be a complete surprise that Masuda – who works for Gamefreak, who in partnership with Nintendo own Pokemon- to be encouraging people to buy a Nintendo product. What is surprising is the timing of it all. E3 is only a few weeks away, and it is there that many fans are hoping Nintendo to drop their next big hint about the Pokemon Switch game.
How Likely That There is a Pokemon Announcement?
We would advise guarded optimism. There’s a few nuggets of evidence to suggest that Nintendo will make an announcement, but there is also some previous behavior by the gaming giant that suggests they won’t be very chatty about the new Pokemon game come this fall.
First the likely evidence. The most obvious evidence is that Nintendo has already confirmed they are making this game. This game is definitely being made, which leads to the next bit of evidence. At the last E3 Nintendo said the Switch game would come out “in 2018 or later”. Ignoring the “later” part for now – if a fall 2018 release was their goal, they would need to begin marketing for the game. Historically, Nintendo has released new Pokemon games between the months of September and January. E3 would likely be the latest they could announce the game and still have enough marketing time before those months.
The evidence against the release hinges on the “later” part of their statement last year. If the goal for the company is to not release until 2019 (or 2020), then it is unlikely you will hear a release date for the game in a few weeks. Another piece of evidence that makes it less likely for a date confirmation is that Pokemon has avoided release announcements for Pokemon games at past E3s.
Another thing to consider is the middle ground, and that Nintendo details some new information about the Switch Nintendo game, but does not say when it will come out. While that is better than nothing, it does leave a lot to be desired by would-be trainers anxious to play the legendary game for the first time on the tv.
The Original Announcement
To see what Nintendo has said so far about the new RPG game, take a look at their spotlight video from last year’s E3.