Game Freak is going to continue making games outside of Pokemon, according to new developer statements. In an interview with Axios, Pocket Card Jockey director Masao Taya stated that the team believes “it is very important for the studio to continue making and releasing titles outside of the Pokémon series.” While the studio’s output has been very Pokemon-focused since Red and Blue’s release, Game Freak has also released a fair amount of games outside of that. In recent years, Game Freak has developed Little Town Hero and Giga Wrecker.
Most recently, Game Freak put out the Apple Arcade exclusive remake of Pocket Card Jokey, subtitled Ride On! This version added 3D races, updated visuals more generally, and changed some of the rule set. Taya directed both versions.
The complexity of putting out Pokemon titles almost every year has made it difficult to make games without external support. In the interview, Taya said, “In recent years, the resources needed for game development have grown and grown, so Development Department One has been trying out a style of development where it works with external studios.” On Pocket Card Jockey: Ride On, Game Freak worked with Infiniteloop Co. and Pixyda.
Taya doesn’t say what kinds of titles Game Freak will release, but he does mention that some updates are coming to Ride On. He said, “Some of the feedback we’ve received has been that the game is too hard, so I would like us to carefully adjust the balance going forward. We are also planning other updates, but at this point I still can’t reveal any details.”