Junichi Masuda
Image: The Pokémon Company

Junichi Masuda, one of the founders of Game Freak, current Managing Director, and long-time composer of the Pokémon series — among many, many other roles at the company — is stepping down from his role for pastures new.

Masuda has been with Game Freak since it was formed in 1989, and has been the producer and director for many Pokémon games over the years. Today, however, he jumps over to The Pokémon Company, where he'll hold the title of Chief Creative Fellow, where he'll use his knowledge of the series to help develop new services and products. It's a pretty similar move to what Shigeru Miyamoto made, who became Creative Fellow at Nintendo to help manage the brand and step away from the game development side of things.

The Pokémon Company shared this statement about the news on its website:

The Pokémon Company is pleased to announce the appointment of Junichi Masuda as its Chief Creative Fellow, effective June 1, 2022.

Junichi Masuda has served as the Managing Director at GAME FREAK inc., the original creator of Pokémon, until May 31. As one of the founding members of GAME FREAK, he was involved in the development of “Pokémon Red Version and Pokémon Green Version,” supporting the development of the subsequent Pokémon video game series for many years. Masuda will utilize his deep understanding of the Pokémon brand to develop new services and products at the Pokémon Company, tapping into his years of experience and creative thinking.

Comments from Junichi Masuda
I have served as the director of the Pokémon video game series, starting with “Pokémon Ruby Version and Pokémon Sapphire Version” up until “Pokémon X and Pokémon Y,” and was involved in the development of many video games, including Pokémon GO. I would like to express my heart-felt thanks to all Pokémon fans.
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. I appreciate your continued support in my new role.

We wish Junichi Masuda well in his new role! And we're sure we'll be seeing more of him over the coming years.

How do you feel about the news? Let us know in the comments.

[source gematsu.com]