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New Pokemon Snap director explains how Pokken opened the way for more Poke-photography

New Pokemon Snap
(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

New Pokemon Snap was made by the same studio behind fighting game Pokken Tournament, a title that made Bandai Namco a natural pick for the long-awaited follow-up.

In the lead up to its release date on April 30, New Pokemon Snap director Haruki Suzaki spoke with IGN about how Bandai Namco's collaboration with The Pokemon Company has grown.

"Pokkén Tournament utilized Bandai Namco Studio's strengths and it made Pokémon appealing in a new way," Suzaki explained. "Because of this, we got another opportunity to do something together again and this led to the development of New Pokémon Snap. We were able to talk with the developers [from the original game] and the project started with the involvement of many people."

IGN points out that Pokken did some lovely world building in its 3D backgrounds, showing how humans and Pokemon coexist in the same spaces when they're not too busy with wandering around and getting into random encounters. Still, going from arena spaces to the sprawling natural areas of a fictional world is a big leap, and Suzaki explained the approach his team took to filling out each level.

"The main focus was to build the world where wild Pokémon actually live in this game," Suzaki said. "To do this, we first set out to create an exciting world by thinking about the environment in which Pokémon live, creating scenery in detail, and also using Switch hardware's capabilities to the fullest. While doing so, we tried to make Pokémon the star of the game by making them move naturally and with the feel of presence so that it's fun to just watch them and it's even more fun to take pictures of them."

New Pokemon Snap will feature more than 200 Pokemon for your photo ops, and Suzaki has explained how and why his team chose them all.

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.