Game Freak Revives Open-World ‘Pokemon’ Idea [Rumor]

Game Freak is considering a big change in gameplay design for the next 'Pokemon' game for the Nintendo Switch.

A screenshot from 'The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild'

Game Freak is considering a big change in gameplay design for the next 'Pokemon' game for the Nintendo Switch.

Game Freak is reportedly giving Pokemon a serious makeover if the latest report is anything to go by.

According to the folks over at the Easy Allies podcast, the Pokemon game developer is considering a gameplay experience that will feel completely new and different to fans who followed the Pokemon franchise.

They were reportedly inspired by the success of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and, more recently, Super Mario Odyssey — both enjoying positive reception from even the most loyal of fanatics despite the huge gameplay modifications.

The former features a fully open-world environment, which is a dozen times larger the world featured in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and shies away from heavy use of defined entrances and exits to areas. This is something that Pokemon is expected to borrow.

The installment was also built in a way that encourages players to get creative and experiment instead of requiring them to find a single solution, which was the case in most The Legend of Zelda games.

Super Mario Odyssey, on the other hand, traded its traditional side-scroller setup for a 3D world that features locations based on real-world cities as well as fantasy-based realms that the red-clad hero can freely roam around in.

Instead of linear storytelling, Nintendo used open-ended, exploration-based gameplay and gave Mario the ability to, among many others, use his cap as a weapon — he can throw it to an enemy, object, or a non-playable character, which, in turn, he can capture to unlock unique abilities.

'Pokemon' is taking a page from 'Super Mario Odyssey's' book

The success of both games — made much bigger since they hail from two of the most popular video game franchises in the world — has apparently inspired Game Freak to develop a Pokemon game as “disruptive” as these two.

Pokemon games always featured the same formula that never really failed. Fans continue to purchase the products and support the long-running series so Game Freak really had no reason to change things up in how they put together their Pokemon offerings.

The studio has actually flirted with the idea of an open-world Pokemon before as reported by Game Informer last August, but the Pokemon developer apparently has newfound confidence to take the same risk that the Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey makers took.

According to Easy Allies, “Game Freak was very nervous about doing any kind of radical departure for Pokemon, they sell so well why would you mess with that? Apparently, Breath of the Wild‘s reception and the reaction to Mario at E3 was so overwhelmingly positive that it convinced them that they need to make the next Pokemon game as disruptive as those two games were. That it’s going to be as big of an innovation as those two games were.”

A new mainline Pokemon game has already been announced for the Nintendo Switch, and with this new rumor, it could very well mark the beginning of a new era for the series.

[Featured Image by Nintendo]