Video game

Game Freak co-founder Junichi Masuda left to join The Pokémon Company

Game Freak co-founder Junichi Masuda has left the developer for a new role at The Pokémon Company.

Masuda, who was General Manager of Game Freak, left the studio on May 31 and becomes The Pokémon Company’s Chief Creative Officer effective today.

As one of Game Freak’s three co-founders, Masuda has been involved in the development of nearly every game the studio has developed since its inception in April 1989.

Masuda played a notable role in the development of the Pokémon series, initially serving as composer and assisting with programming on the original Pokémon Red, Green, and Blue before taking on larger development roles in later titles.

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In particular, Masuda served as the director for Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire, FireRed & LeafGreen, Diamond & Pearl, Black & White, X & Y, and Let’s Go Pikachu & Eevee.

Leaving Game Freak, Masuda will likely no longer be involved in the development of future Pokémon games and will instead oversee the production of Pokémon products in general in his new role at The Pokémon Company.

According to The Pokémon Company, Masuda “will use his deep understanding of the Pokémon brand to develop new services and products. […] drawing on his years of experience and his creative thinking”.

In a statement, Masuda said, “I would like to express my sincere thanks to all Pokémon fans.

“In the future, I hope to transcend the boundaries of video games, trying to bring more surprises, fun and excitement to people around the world, while doing my best to connect people, expand the circle of the “game” and help bring forth a richer world to share. I appreciate your continued support in my new role.

Earlier this week, an industry consultant noted that The Pokémon Company had a “record” financial year, with net profit up 123% year-over-year, due to the releases of New Pokémon Snap, Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, and Pokémon Legends: Arceus.