Pokemon players want Bandai Namco to replace Game Freak after New Pokemon Snap

Pokemon Sword & Shield protagonist next to New Pokemon Snap screenshotGame Freak / The Pokemon Company

Following the release of New Pokemon Snap in April, some fans of Nintendo series are now asking for other developers to make mainline Pokemon titles instead of Game Freak.

After years of being dormant, the Pokemon Snap franchise was finally revived in 2021 with the release of New Pokemon Snap on the Nintendo Switch. The long-awaited sequel introduced players to the Lental region with 214 new Pokemon to take pictures of across its gorgeous locales.

The photography title was so well received after its launch that it’s left some in the community wondering why the mainline RPG series doesn’t look this good. In a viral thread online, some fans opened up about why they now want other developers to tackle the series instead of Game Freak.

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Alolan Raichu jumping in New Pokemon SnapThe Pokemon Company
Pokemon fans are impressed with New Snap’s unique animations.

Fans want other developers to make Pokemon games

The fandom debate was kicked off when a viral thread on the r/Pokemon subreddit posted a meme comparing the mainline RPGs’ animations to New Pokemon Snap. While a joke, the topic immediately sparked a discussion among the community about future titles.

Many users were floored with not only New Pokemon Snap’s stunning visuals, but the mind-blowing variety of animations that the game has. Players then began to compare the 2021 title with Gen 8’s Sword & Shield, as well as the trailer for the upcoming release Legends: Arceus.

While the photography release is on rails, 214 ‘mon each having their own special animations is still incredibly impressive. This led some fans to argue that Game Freak needs to let other developers make mainline Pokemon projects.

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“Giving the development of a game to a secondary company is just a big favour for us,” one fan wrote. Another exclaimed, “This is generally the reason I have hope for the [Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl] remakes.”

Other users continued to be critical of how Legends: Arceus looks. “Imagine Legends Arceus but made by Monolith, Atlus, Square Enix, etc. That game would be the Pokémon BOTW we wish we had. Game Freak really felt comfortable showing us Pokémon moving at like 2fps.”

Pokemon fans react to New Snap graphics

Not every fan was buying the argument though. Several users pointed out that it was unfair to compare New Snap to the mainline RPGs which are much bigger.

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“I think Sword & Shield are a** and the product of clearly rushed development. But this is such a stupid comparison to make, when [New Snap] is an on-rails, short, manicured experience versus an RPG with 400 Pokemon in it that can each learn dozen of different moves,” one wrote.

Pokemon fan hits back at New Snap comparisons

As gorgeous as New Pokemon Snap is, it can’t be understated enough that it’s a completely different genre of game. It should also be said that Game Freak is a relatively small team developer-wise, and are making massive RPGs in a a short time frame compared to similar projects.

With the Sinnoh remakes being handed-off to third-party developer ILCA, perhaps the franchise will find a better balance in the future with the mainline Gen releases getting more time for polish. One thing is certain, the Nintendo franchise has been criticized for years for its graphics and animations, and that critique doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.

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