Game Freak has been working on the Pokémon series since its first release 23 years ago, but a lot of people still think of Nintendo as its creators. Junichi Masuda talked about the common misconception in volume 5 of the “Masuda’s Room” development diary celebrating Game Freak’s 30th anniversary.
“When Pokémon first came out, it was called ‘Nintendo’s game’… So we need to further expand on Game Freak,” explained Masuda. They also talked about the way it was in the past, where game developers would make a game but not get any recognition for it as back in the day it was the names of the publishers that stood out most.
Masuda continued, “I’ve asked about 200 people before to guess what company makes Pokémon, and almost 100% of them answered with ‘Nintendo,’ I still get the sense that people think I’m ‘from Nintendo’.”
The misconception is pretty common, even for Game Freak art director and game director Takao Unno who added “I have family members reach out and ask me if I can hook them up with discounts on Nintendo consoles. [Laughs] It’s like ‘I told you, I don’t work at Nintendo!”
Masuda further added, “When I went to visit my parents there was a parent with their child who said ‘Hey! Isn’t that Masuda-san?’ to which the parent replied ‘Someone from Nintendo would never come to a place like this!’ [Laughs]. I really wanted to just ask then to follow me on Twitter.”