USGamer has conducted an email interview with Pokemon director, designer, and composer Junichi Masuda. The interview touches on a number of things including the initial concept and how the team thought it would be received in the United States. As we know, it proved to be a huge hit but the team weren’t sure that was going to happen.
“At first, we were told that the Pokemon were too cute to be successful in the U.S. and that we should change the design of the characters. At the time, it wasn’t common for RPGs from Japan to be popular overseas. I remember being worried that players outside of Japan wouldn’t accept Pokemon for what it was.”
“We decided to start with the animated TV series,” Masuda says, “and I think that strategy really paid off.”
“Once I arrived in the U.S., I saw just how many Pokemon products were on store shelves. There were far more products than I expected, and I remember being very surprised,” he recalls. “Seeing the sheer number of products available in the shops was probably the first time I truly realized just how big Pokemon had become.”