Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of many of Nintendo’s world famous most-loved franchises, has just recently spoken about the twentieth anniversary of the Pokémon series, on which he worked as a leading producer.
In the video—published to the Official Pokémon Channel on Youtube (see below) in celebration of the series’ landmark year—Miyamoto gave thanks to all the workers, developers and fans that have made the Pokémon series the success it has been over the last twenty years.
Although Miyamoto was not the original creator of the concept of the Pokémon franchise, he has long been a significant part of the series alongside his work as Game Designer and Creative Fellow at Nintendo. Miyamoto has been a part of the Pokémon series since working as a producer on the very first games, and in the video he thanked all those who have kept with the series for all those years.
Speaking about the early years of Pokémon, Miyamoto revealed that he and fellow producer Tsunekazu Ishihara worked on fleshing out the design aspects of the first Pokémon games six years before their release in 1996 on the Japanese market, working around another project called EarthBound. The original concept of Pokémon was thought up by Satoshi Tajiri, who based it on his childhood hobby of insect collecting.
Miyamoto then gave insight about his contribution to the early stages of Pokémon’s development. He said that his main input was to figure out a new way to use a Game Boy Link Cable to connect two players’ handheld systems, which became the method by which gamers could trade and battle their Pokémon together. Miyamoto also came up with the idea of having different editions of each game with unique monsters, in order to aid trading and collectability.
Twenty years on, Miyamoto said that he can’t believe the heights the Pokémon series has reached, with seven generations of main games (the seventh, Sun and Moon, releasing in 2016) and many other spin offs. A mobile game, Pokémon GO, is also set to release in 2016.