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How New Pokemon Snap Chose Which Monsters Made The Cut

In recent interviews, New Pokemon Snap game director Haruki Suzaki discussed how the development team determined which Pokemon to include in the remake. 

New Pokemon Snap is a new and improved version of the 1999 Nintendo 64 classic. With a pool of almost 900 Pokemon, choosing which to include in the game was an understandably difficult notion. Suzaki told Game Informer that the developers were able to feature over 200 Pokemon that are "rich in variety" in New Pokemon Snap, but the decision process required a little outside help and real-world inspiration.


Suzaki and his team made the decisions after they created the diverse habitats. "My vision was to create a world where you can actually imagine wild Pokémon thriving in their natural habitats and ecosystem," said Suzaki. This led to a variety of different landscapes for Pokemon to explore. The team didn't start with a number in mind — instead they narrowed down their choices by "balancing out how different Pokemon would live in these habitats and their relationships within each environment." The resulting environments are pretty diverse in their own right, ranging from a tropical forest and flourishing beach to harsh deserts.

Suzaki revealed to Metro in a separate interview that the team also leaned on Game Freak, the studio behind the mainline Pokemon games, for assistance in the selection process. "We reached out to Game Freak ... to review the Pokemon settings to make sure it felt natural to the characters," he noted. With the sheer number of Pokemon included in the game, Game Freak was able to help the developers create authentic relationships between Pokemon — including some well-known rivalries. Developers also studied wildlife videos to replicate the movements of similar animals. "I believe you could tell how natural they look and feel when you see a four-legged pokémon or when you observe a bird pokémon," Suzaki offered as an example.


Anxious to see if your favorite Pokemon made the cut? New Pokemon Snap comes to Nintendo Switch on April 30, 2021. It will arrive in the midst of the Pokemon universe's 25th anniversary, which The Pokemon Company plans to celebrate throughout the year.