Why hasn’t there been a proper sequel to Pokémon Snap?
Released in Japan on March 21, 1999 and later in North America on June 30, 1999, Pokémon Snap took the Pokémon franchise in a brief new direction, transitioning from a typical RPG to a rail “shooter” photography game for the Nintendo 64. You take the role of Todd Snap, an upcoming Pokémon photographer, who is placed with Professor Oak’s task of capturing the lifestyle of as many Pokémon as possible on your journey to find the mysterious Mew. Using your amphibious and off-terrain buggy, Zero-One, you’ll find yourself traveling across a variety of terrains, capturing Pokémon as you go.
While it broke the traditional PRG mold set in place by previous Pokémon games like Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue, the game was a huge hit (especially in the states.) By the end of its first year of release in 1999, Pokémon Snap had become the sixth best selling video game (in excess of 1.5 million copies distributed, 3.63 million worldwide) as well as the most rented video game (thanks to great promotions from the likes of Blockbuster where you were allowed to bring in your games and print off copies of the pictures you had taken.) So if it performed so well in the states at the time, why hasn’t there been a sequel to Pokémon Snap?
It’s even more puzzling when one really thinks about it, as the Wii U was the perfect instrument that could have simulated the experience of being a photographer, what with the ability to mirror gameplay from your television to the Wii U GamePad. The individual holds the GamePad to eye level, swivels the game pad back and forth to find the perfect shot, and then photographs the Pokémon with a touch of the GamePad, thus not only simulating but immersing the player with the experiences had in Pokémon Snap. It wasn’t like the GamePad couldn’t process those kinds of motions; in fact, ____ did it just right by __________ so it wasn’t like the game couldn’t handle the processing.
Furthermore, the Wii U was clearly lacking in content that would draw in consumers, especially Pokémon gamers. When the Wii U debuted in 2012, the console had a difficult time drawing in gamers as the console launched with a weak set of launch titles. The console did focus on some first party juggernauts like Mario with New. Super Mario Bros. U and the emerging Mii presence with Nintendo Land, but it hurt immensely from the lack of franchises like Legend of Zelda, Metroid, and Pokémon. It wasn’t until April 2013 when a Pokémon game finally landed on the console in the form of a successor to the 2011 3DS game Pokémon Rumble Blast called Pokémon Rumble U.
However, in the five year lifespan of the Wii U, the console was only able to pump out one more Pokémon game in Pokken Tournament in 2015. This is strange as well considering the Wii had three titles for its last generation console – i.e. Wii – as well as three more games for WiiWare, displaying a clear decline in games available to the consumer. With the tenure of the Wii U ending and the promise of the Nintendo NX knocking on the door, it feels like Nintendo missed a golden opportunity to capitalize on a struggling console.
The sale numbers supported the idea that a new Pokémon Snap game could be made. The Wii U technology supported the idea that a new Pokémon Snap game would function well on the console. The lack of content drawing in consumers supported the idea that a new Pokémon Snap could win over gamers on the fence. So why hasn’t there been a sequel to Pokémon Snap?
Unfortunately, in an interview in 2014 with Pokémon video game designer and director Junichi Masuda, he had this to say about the possibility of a Pokémon Snap sequel:
“It’s always great to hear from the fans and as a game player myself I can relate to what they want. They’re always wanting cool new things and obviously it would be great if we had the resources to develop all of these things but that can be difficult. As a player I definitely want to play a cool new version of Pokémon Snap but at the same time I also think if it was just a remake with better graphics I don’t think it would be as interesting as a lot of people are imagining. If someone was to end up developing it they’d have to come up with some cool ideas to really make it a good game for the current generation. It’s sort of like what I was saying about Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. If it was just a direct port that would be kind of neat as well, but having new elements is definitely important.”
He would go on further to say in a Kotaku UK interview:
“It’s really popular! We get this a lot. If they were to create another one, they’d probably need to come up with some kind of new invention to make it fresh… of course, everyone thinks of the GamePad, but whoever made it would have to come up with something unexpected. Pokémon Snap was developed by HAL, originally, which is now part of Nintendo. I’m the director at the Pokémon Company, and we’re certainly not stopping it from coming out!”
Since then, no new information has come out relating to a sequel to the Pokémon Snap game; Junichi Masuda has gone on record stating that the demand is there, but no development was in the works for the game. Considering it has been two years since that interview with no new information, it seems Pokémon Snap fans may be left out to dry when it comes to a sequel to a game. What do you guys think? Do you think that a Pokémon Snap sequel should be made? Or should they put their time and energy towards something else? If there should be a sequel, how do you think the game could evolve from the original? Do you think the WiiU GamePad could work for this game?
Edited by bobandbill.