Update [Tue 30th May, 2023 12:00 BST]: Creatures Inc. has confirmed on its official website that Hirokazu "Hip" Tanaka has retired from his previous position as President and will continue to work with the company in the future as a Creative Fellow.
It has also confirmed that Tsunekazu Ishihara will continue to be involved in the overall management of the company as a founder, despite his own resignation as CEO.
The page goes into further detail on the current management team at Creatures Inc.; here's the current line-up:
Yuji Kitano,President & CEO
Tomotaka Komura, Executive Vice President
Hiroyuki Jinnai, Senior Executive Director
Noriyuki Kita, Senior Executive Director
Masamichi Anazawa, Executive Director
Atsuko Ujiie, Executive Director
Muneaki Ozawa, Executive Director
Eisuke Kasejima, Executive Director
Masami Hatanaka, Executive Director
Atsushi Nagashima, Executive Director
Kengo Nakahiro, Executive Director
Hajime Shibahara, Auditor
Original Article [Wed 5th Apr, 2023 10:00 BST]:
Creatures Inc., one of the partial owners of the Pokémon franchise alongside Game Freak and Nintendo, has undertaken a significant change in leadership, as spotted by Serebii webmaster Joe Merrick.
Tsunekazu Ishihara and Hirokazu "Hip" Tanaka have stepped down as CEO and President of Creatures Inc. respectively, with Yuji Kitano stepping in as CEO / President and Tomotaka Komura as Executive Vice President. The newly appointed posts are also highlighted on the official Creatures Inc. website.
While the change will likely have no material impact on the day-to-day operation of Creatures Inc. or its contribution to the Pokémon franchise, the shake-up is certainly an interesting one. At the time of writing, Tsunekazu Ishihara remains President and CEO of The Pokémon Company, however, his departure from his post at Creatures Inc. does raise some questions as to his immediate future with The Pokémon Company. Many fans will likely recognise Ishihara as the host of major Pokémon Presents showcases.
We currently have no reason to believe that anything further will change in the foreseeable future, as this recent shake-up will have likely coincided with the new 2024 fiscal year in Japan.
As for Hirokazu Tanaka, it's unclear at this time what role, if any, he has with Creatures or The Pokémon Company following his departure from his role as President. His previous work outside Creatures Inc. focused primarily on creating soundtracks for classic games like Metroid, EarthBound, and Kid Icarus. He joined Creatures Inc. full-time in 1999 and became its President in 2001. He also began to perform at Japanese dance clubs under the name 'Chip Tanaka' at this time.
What do you make of this change up over at Creatures Inc.? Let us know your thoughts with a comment down below.
[source creatures.co.jp, via twitter.com]
Maybe he will bring the Mother series back 😏
C'mon, Reggie! Give us Mother 3!
Good, a change in leadership may help change perspective of how Pokemon games are developed. Hopefully now they will be more creative with ideas and actually hire enough help to finish these games
What can this possibly mean in terms of the prospect of a Personal Trainer: Walking remake?
Also, how is it that it’s always the composers that get the keys to the Pokémon related corporations?
Didn't read the title properly and I thought Ishihara was stepping down as the president of TPC instead 😆. But even if leadership has changed for Creatures, I doubt this would bring improvement to any future Pokémon games. Welp, guess we just gotta wait and see.
I can only assume this has something to do with the Scarlet/Violet debacle.
Maybe the games will return to being quality products now.
... who am I kidding, of course they won't lol. Pokémon prints money regardless of quality.
Who wouldn't jump a sinking ship?
All of the execs should be replaced lol
Absolute garbage company. Maybe they will turn around with fresh management and actually care about quality.
(Talking about TPC here, just to be clear.)
Godspeed Chip Tanaka. From composer to Pokémon president... what a ride!
I got excited for a second thinking it was someone important taking responsibility for the depressing direction of the recent sad excuses of games (not talking about you Arceus). This isn't nearly a big enough shakeup. I think just about everyone probably needs the boot.
They better mention the release date for Detective Pikachu 2 for the Nintendo Switch, I’ve been waiting years for the sequel to the 3DS game and they still haven’t released it yet and I’m not happy about it 😡😡😡
@Vil @Yosher @Axecon You guys realize this is Creatures and not Game Freak, right? They mostly get credited for 3D modeling work on the actual Pokemon, which is one thing Scarlet/Violet did pretty well.
What Anachronism said. Did any of you read carefully before you posted?
@Anachronism They still co-own the franchise. As such, they should still have a say in things that happen with this franchise.
Not sure to what extent exactly, but for all we know it could be enough to make a difference, should they care enough to do so.
Hopefully something will change, because the main Pokémon games released on Switch, with the exception of Pokémon Legends Arceus, are disappointing entries. The monsters deserve way better games
They composed Earthbound's soundtrack?? Wow!
Nobody at Creatures, GameFreak, The Pokemon Company, or Nintendo will be losing their jobs because of Pokemon Scarlet/Violet. Heck, I'd expect promotions given how wildly successful the game was.
@westman98 Never said anyone would be losing their jobs but I'm willing to bet at least some people there feel ashamed for putting out a product of questionable quality.
I know I would, if I were part of this development team.
Please let this lead to some sort of extra quality control for Pokémon. I take no joy ij insulting a franchise I want to love
Hopefully this is for the best…🙏🏻😌
I'm confused. Wasn't Hip Tanaka the person who had their little theme song hidden in a ton of Nintendo games?
I remember hearing at one they had some event where they gathered a bunch of other people named Hirokazu Tanaka to compose music together.
@Anachronism That's debatable, while the textures and assets in Gen 9 look a little better, they still are a farcry from other games on the Switch like Mario Odyssey or BOTW which were launch-year games. A lot of these returning Pokemon are the same recycled assets from X & Y (Gen 6) just repeated and upscaled. And we still had massive Dex cuts from the generation showing the incompetence & rushed product of anything the Pokemon Company or any of their subsidiaries are capable of.
I wonder what prompted the change. Best of luck to all involved.
When something like this occurs seemingly out of the blue, there is probably a lot more going on than just a (in the grand scheme of things) small number of people complaining about the quality of the newest entries, especially when they have performed about on par financially with the others and there has not been a downward trend. It makes me wonder what has been going on behind the scenes that would cause this to happen.
You all need to STFU an stop being rude about them. I'm sure there's perfectly good reasons they stepped down from creatures inc, and I'm sure it has nothing to do with "ScARleT aND viOLet ArE TerRiBlE gAmeS." I'm so sick and tired of a bunch of whiny fans constantly complaining, of course the game wasn't gonna be perfect like you all expect everything to be. This was there very first foray into an open world game, so of course it wasn't gonna be perfect, nobody is on their first attempt. On top of that, quite literally every single game is gonna have bugs, so if you really hate buggy games, then just never play games again.
@Anachronism I was talking about the parent company mostly. I'll edit to make that more clear, though lol
would still love to see this happen, though hopefully not exclusive to NSO or with some other caveat
seeing things like the only official localization of the original fire emblem get delisted mere months after being on the eshop and the loss of the virtual console taking away the only ways to actually buy the original mother game is dissapointing.
i feel like things such as how the original Trials of Mana got a physical release as part of the collection of Mana and things like the original front mission and the Romancing SaGa games get remasters is an ideal way since it helps preserve the games better than a service with an online check.
a switch remake of mother 3 would be a dream especially after seeing that fan mockup.
@CharlieGirl the best selling games in the franchise?
Huh, interesting. Now time to go to the comments where people will read into it too much
It's likely nothing major will change with a new person in charge. Only time will show us if a big change will actually happen with Creatures, INC.
@KingMike Nope, it's Kazumi Totaka (you probably confused them because their names are similar) who put his song in almost all the games he composed for.
By the way, he's also the voice of Yoshi!
In my eyes, this could be good news.
As much as i hope that would be the case i get the nagging feeling things wont really change too much considering how the sales for the games were through the roof, whether or not it will affect sales of the next game is yet to be seen though.
but yeah, it does feel like there are a lot of those who were critical of the games because they loved the franchise and/or felt there was a good game buried underneath all the issues.
it often feels like when a game has aspects you really like it either makes it easier to overlook the flaws or makes the flaws stand out even more, unfortunately for me it was the latter, it was a game i really wanted to like.
but yeah i really do hope that future games are allowed to cook for longer and maybe even bring in some devs more familiar with certain aspects in to help out like what apparently happened with botw (iirc weren't people from monolithsoft brought in to help with the games open world)
I definitely think Nintendo was pretty upset about Scarlet and Violet. After all, they were the ones who publicly apologized about the game's performance issues, not The Pokémon Company.
What I wish they could do with Pokémon is take the Zelda approach. Have big, major games be developed for a reasonable and realistic amount of time, and then release smaller minor (and still mainline) games in between.
@ModdedInkling Who knows how they really feel about it though. For all we know it could simply be a case of PR damage control while the team is otherwise allowed to continue down the same path as they have been going on.
I want to believe that Nintendo was upset about it and maybe even that they're forcing something to change on that end, but it's kind of hard to believe that, admittedly.
We won't really know until the next mainline Pokémon games come out, I think.
@Mgalens I would definitely like to make it clear I don’t take any joy out of this. Pokemon is an incredible idea with beautiful creature designs. But it is held back by combat that the games don’t take full advantage of, mediocre stories, bad graphics and horrible performance. I really want gamefreak to change something about how these games are made because there are amazing games buried deep in scar vi. I do fear you are right though and this leadership change won’t amount to much bu I am hopeful that Nintendo finally brings down the hammer on TPC because I don’t like disliking stuff because even if the games sold well this was an embarrassing release for Nintendo to be associated with
I don’t know if I want monolith to help too much I prefer xenoblade to Pokémon and would rather them stay independent to work on thier own projects xenoblade 4, xcx2 or something new
Yeah i would love to see monolith work more on their own games but rather was more about whether or not bringing in some devs with more experience with the genre to help out could help.
then again all we can really do is speculate why things turned out the way they did.
either way i hope they manage to turn things around for future games, whether it be related to changes in the development process or simply giving the games more time to cook.
i also share the sentiment of not taking joy in how the games turned out, i really wanted to like them but the technical issues really were a turn off, it just didnt feel good to play.
I would love another Earthbound.
@Axecon Very unlikely. With all of the sales records broken with SV, I can't see Pokémon suddenly changing anything now.
Maybe they are listening. Even though sales have been huge - they may not have hit projections with the Switch's new install base over S/S. They could have sold better with a better game.
Scarlet was a good game. I am sure the next one might be even better and Kitano-San and Komura-San will do a great job.
Can we get Games as Black/White 2 again now?
Alright fellas how do we make these games cheaper and faster
@Cashews na it’s already sold as much as sw/sh in less than a year. It will surpass it comfortably
@Crockin you ignored my point. When S/S came out the install base was a fraction of what it is today. I specifically mentioned Projections as my point. You and I have no idea what their Projections were.
I do believe I can safely say that not having Pokemon on every top 10 list 6 months later - while ancient games like Kart are - is likely a disappointment.
Sales. I'm not talking about emotions.
Mother 3 please!
Let's greet it with a thunderous applause!
I wonder what part of their revenue is from games, that may explain their lack of effort (to put it nicely) 20 million games on a single console can only bring you so much but there's cards, clothes, anime, plushes and all the licensed products. If the brand indeed stagnated, that may explain the recent changes
@Cashews But Scarlet/Violet are on track to be the biggest Pokemon title of all time since Red/Blue/Green and one of the Switch's biggest selling games of all time? They were half-baked games but trying to make out like their sales somehow unperformed is a weird narrative.
These people have been around for decades and might just want a break, lol. It probably has nothing to do with whatever the quality is of SV.
That said, I do miss the days when we got games like DPPt, B2W2, and the fantastic DS/3DS remakes. I can't get into any of the Switch Pokemon games, and I do think that Pokemon deserves less lazy games. However, I'm 37 now, and anyone who is near this age has to be honest about one thing - these games are no longer primarily aimed at us, lol. This is a kids franchise first and foremost, so I can't get too upset when the games they make aren't a perfect fit for me anymore.
Still... I really hope we'll see a BOTW-style renaissance for Pokemon that expands the franchise and makes everyone happy. I know they can do it - it's probably just a time issue. Take an extra year and really wow us!
Nothing to do with it at all, the game has been fine, and has sold 22 million copies, and is the seventh best selling game on the console.
@Rob3008 I'm not calling the game a failure. again - I don't know what their projections were. I'm obviously playing out a hypothetical.
The only game that had an install base this large was the DS - and the series has grown so much since then.
Think of Square Enix (kind of a joke comparison to compare a good company with a bad one). They put projections usually several millions or 100,000s above what they actually sell. Now, I know SE is an awful company compared to Nintendo (or most developers) but there can be a wide gulf between projections and actuals.
I think a mainline Pokemon entry will be aiming at sales of 20 million plus copies.
The nearest comparison would be the DS, although this had a higher install base.
Black & White 15.64 million
Diamond & Pearl 16.67 million
Sword & Shield 25.82 million
Scarlet & Violet 22.10 million
I would suggest they are more than happy with the sales figures on the Switch, in fact they have had a big increase, considering the Switch userbase is smaller than the DS.
@johnvboy I'd put 20M at the very low end for the first open world pokemon, after the universally glowly reception of Arceus, the recent year's card hype and the massive install base of the Switch.
Violet hovering in the sales teens and Scarlet a no show 6 months after release is probably not what they wanted or expected. The only current word of mouth is mostly all bad.
Sony's brand momentum chart would probably put Pokemon at a 7 right now. Where is their crack marketing team when we need them!
Not at all, we are a long way from the Gameboy days where Pokemon was pretty much the game you bought a Gameboy for, and those days of selling 29-46 million copies have long gone.
In fact before the Switch you were struggling to get anywhere near 20 million copies.
The word of mouth as you put it, is basically core fans, the masses do not listen to that, or are even aware of it.
Pokemon has been very lucrative for both Nintendo and The Pokemon company, on the Switch.
Pokemon Let's go 15.07 million
Pokemon Arceus 14.83 million
Pokemon Diamond 14.92 million
Pokemon Scarlet 22.10 million
Pokemon Sword 25.82 million
Not too shabby, and a massive improvement from the DS.
@Cashews lol emotions? I can assure you I have zero emotions for these dumpy Pokémon games. I’m talking about sales and install base too u ding dong. Pokémon games that are the second release on any given console haven’t smashed sales of the first one historically. 10 second google search will show you this
Now hopefully it can help them with quality control! Breaths why am I heavy breathing? To get in all the copium of course (:
But sadly money talks and scarlet and violet sold really well.
@Crockin not your emotions - just in general. crocodiles don't have emotions.
There seem to be a lot of changes for Pokemon going forward and I don't like it. We lost Turner and this was already noticable with the questionable Pokemon design in Scarlet and Violet. We lost Masuda and this was already noticable with the lack of content in Arceus and SV (running around in an open world is not worthwhile content, at least for me...). Now we will lose Tanaka and I am sure this will also be noticable one way or the other.
@Axecon I don't see how this would affect GameFreak games in any way. From a business perspective which is what these executive types care about, they are making absolute bank. You'd have to change creative director to potentially see sweeping design changes.
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