Nintendo Pokemon

Creating Pokemon Games Ruby & Sapphire Caused Junichi Masuda To Stay In Hospital

An interview with Game Freak’s Junichi Masuda has revealed that Pokemon Ruby & Sapphire for the Game Boy Advance were the most stressful games in the series to make. The interview, carried out by Game Informer, is part of the publication’s in-depth coverage of the Pokemon series, including its variety of spin-offs, with the Game Freak staff.

Game Informer asked Masuda, renowned director and composer for the Pokemon series, which game he thought was the most difficult for him to make. His answer was Pokemon Ruby & Sapphire and for good reason. During production, Masuda reportedly suffered from such severe stress that it caused him physical illness.

“I got really stressed out and had to go to the hospital and had some stomach issues and had to get a camera inserted and they didn’t know what it was – very stressful.”

Masuda cited a number of reasons for his stress levels, one of them being entirely technical. The release of Ruby and Sapphire was set for the Game Boy Advance, and as Masuda explained, was quite the jump in technology. The screen size had increased, it could display more colours, and the number of sound channels available from the device had increased too. Masuda said it gave them a lot more freedom, but it meant the work took longer and was more resource intensive as they tried to make the most of the new technology.

The biggest reason though, according to Masuda, was that the days of Pokemon were on the decline. The Gold and Silver games had been a big hit but, between the release of Generations 2 and 3, there were a lot of worries on the market that the public was losing interest in the series. Toy stores had begun to stop selling merchandise and was something the Pokemon director had seen in action. He said:

“The next time I visited it was all Star Wars. Everyone was saying it was on a downtrend, the fad’s over and I really felt that pressure to make something amazing.

“We at Game Freak took that as a challenge and said, ‘It’s not dead. We’re going to show you guys you’re wrong!’ The morning after, the day of release, I went into the local shop and saw people lining up to buy it and was extremely relieved. “

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12 comments

  1. My family used to say that Pokémon was just a dying trend. They got increasingly surprised every time I’d ask for or bring home a brand new Pokémon game. Pokémon is the trend that never dies. Even after they release their last generation of mainline games, I’m sure we’ll keep seeing spin-offs, remakes and all kinds of Pokémon-related goodies for decades to come. All thanks to these guys that go so far as to put their own health at risk.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. me personally i hope it does die the generation it’s actually for dont play it they are too busy on call of doody and obese 30+ year olds play it instead or parents that leave their offspring alone to play a fucking app to not battle just catch them.

      Like

    1. Ridley X3 {Greatness Awaits at Sony PlayStation 4. Awaiting Greatness on Nintendo Switch; just need cloud storage, add external HDD support, & make that stupid Nintendo Switch Online App on smartphones optional.} says:

      Unless it’s a game they feel is shitting on a franchise they love, like FedshitForce, they shouldn’t complain about new games of a franchise they don’t care about.

      Like

  2. Crazy what lengths people will go to to do something they love. Had some great memories with those games, so happy he made it through that okay and was able to create something he’s proud of. I’m sure he feels great about the games now. Hopefully developing for the Switch doesn’t cause as much stress as it did back then.

    Like

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