Game Freak co-founder departs for senior role at The Pokemon Company

Pokemon Legends Arceus
(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

The Pokemon Company has appointed the former co-founder and managing director of Game Freak to a senior role at the company.

In a statement released on The Pokemon Company’s corporate website, it has been announced that Junichi Masuda will be joining the company as 'chief creative fellow' (CCF). Masuda has worked at Game Freak ever since 1989 where he co-founded the company, alongside Satoshi Tajiri and Ken Sugimori, and later worked as managing director. 

If you didn’t know, Game Freak is one of the main developers of the Pokemon video game series, including Pokemon Sword and Shield, Pokemon Legends: Arceus, and the upcoming Pokemon Scarlet and Violet.

During his career, Masuda has worked on countless Pokemon titles in various roles as a composer, advisor, producer, director, and more. His list of works includes Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl; Pokemon Go, Pokemon X and Y; Pokemon Red, Green and Blue; and so many more. So it’s safe to say that Masuda is well versed with all things Pokemon. 

What this means for the franchise's future isn't sure, but it's unlikely that anything significant will change as Masuda is still playing a pivotal role in all things Pokemon.  In the same statement, The Pokemon Company says that: "Masuda will utilize his deep understanding of the Pokemon brand to develop new services and products at the Pokemon Company, tapping into his years of experience and creative thinking."

The pocket pal icon has also released a statement, where he says: "I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all Pokemon fans." Before going on to say: "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."

Looking forward to the future of Pokemon? Find out how you can watch the new Pokemon Scarlet and Violet trailer that’s premiering today. 

Hope Bellingham
News Writer

After studying Film Studies and Creative Writing at university, I was lucky enough to land a job as an intern at Player Two PR where I helped to release a number of indie titles. I then got even luckier when I became a Trainee News Writer at GamesRadar+ before being promoted to a fully-fledged News Writer after a year and a half of training.  My expertise lies in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, cozy indies, and The Last of Us, but especially in the Kingdom Hearts series. I'm also known to write about the odd Korean drama for the Entertainment team every now and then.