Nintendo 3DS

More Than 500 People Worked On Pokémon X And Pokémon Y


Pokémon X and Pokémon Y took roughly 3.5 years to develop, says Game Freak director Junichi Masuda. In the latest post to his Game Freak blog, Masuda touches upon the development of the two Nintendo 3DS games and how their names came about.


The basic concepts for Pokémon X and Pokémon Y, Masuda says, were “beauty,” “bonds,” and “evolution”. The game was developed with the idea of players “raising their Pokémon with love”. However, Masuda adds, “There’s an even bigger theme to the game, however; one that I’m always thinking about when I’m directing Pokémon games, and one that I think applies to the real world: ‘Let’s create a better world together’.”


Masuda feels that the one’s life depends on the chance encounters that they have with other people. Encounters based on your age or interests or other factors. These encounters, Masuda says, shouldn’t be about fighting, but rather about making a better world together.


“The titles ‘X’ and ‘Y’ come from this idea,” he reveals. “The letters ‘X’ and ‘Y’ suggest lines on an axis. The lines of both letters head in different directions, but there’s a point at which they cross, or intersect. I used the letters with the idea of intersection in mind; the idea of the common points we share with one another, rather than our differences.”


Finally, Masuda reveals, “It took three and a half years to develop this game. Taking into account the localization groups for each language, more than five hundred people were involved in the development.”


This is an interesting comment, because Game Freak, the studio that develops the Pokémon RPGs, has just 85 employees itself, a number of whom were hired specifically for X/Y. That means over 400 other staff members across Nintendo, The Pokémon Company, and other firms were required to see the games through to completion.

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.