Junichi Masuda has been the face of the Pokémon series for many years, as he often appeared at events to promote the then-upcoming generation. Masuda is also one of the founders of Game Freak, the developers of the Pokémon series, where he took on many roles, such as composer, director, and even producer. However, Masuda has announced his departure from Game Freak, but he won’t be abandoning the series he helped to create.
The Pokémon Company released a statement on its website, revealing that Masuda will be joining TPC as a Chief Creative Fellow. This means that instead of being directly involved with games development, he will be advising the wider areas of the Pokemon franchise, such as merchandise and more. Shigeru Miyamoto took on a similar role at Nintendo a while ago, where he focuses more on the brand as opposed to development.
Here is the full statement from The Pokemon Company website:
The Pokémon Company is pleased to announce the appointment of Junichi Masuda as its Chief Creative Fellow, effective June 1, 2022.
Junichi Masuda has served as the Managing Director at GAME FREAK inc., the original creator of Pokémon, until May 31. As one of the founding members of GAME FREAK, he was involved in the development of “Pokémon Red Version and Pokémon Green Version,” supporting the development of the subsequent Pokémon video game series for many years. Masuda will utilize his deep understanding of the Pokémon brand to develop new services and products at the Pokémon Company, tapping into his years of experience and creative thinking.
Comments from Junichi MasudaThe Pokémon Company
I have served as the director of the Pokémon video game series, starting with “Pokémon Ruby Version and Pokémon Sapphire Version” up until “Pokémon X and Pokémon Y,” and was involved in the development of many video games, including Pokémon GO. I would like to express my heart-felt thanks to all Pokémon fans.
Going forward, I hope to transcend the boundaries of video games by trying to offer greater surprises, fun and excitement to people all over the world, while doing my utmost to connect people, expand the circle of “play” and to help bring about a richer world for us to share. I appreciate your continued support in my new role.
Game Freak was founded in 1989 and has served as the primary developer of the Pokémon series. Since then, various companies such as The Pokemon Company have been established to help manage the behemoth of a franchise. The next games in the series, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are scheduled to launch in Holiday 2022. We wish Junichi Masuda the best of luck!