Game Freak co-founder Junichi Masuda steps down from Managing Director role and is appointed Chief Creative Fellow for The Pokemon Company

A legend has stepped down from Game Freak today. Junichi Masuda, one of the original founders of Game Freak, no longer works there as its Managing Director. Instead, he has been appointed as the Chief Creative Fellow at The Pokemon Company.

The Pokemon Company made the announcement on their official 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.

Masuda served Game Freak for 33 years and he composed their first game, Mendel Palace. He worked as a composer and programmer for much of Game Freak’s earliest works, including the original releases of Pokemon Red, Green, and Blue. Masuda took on more roles starting with Pokemon Gold and Silver as its Sub Director and also worked on its sound effects and game design.

It wasn’t until 2002 that Masuda got his first project as a Director with Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire. Since then, he directed numerous future Pokemon installments, including FireRed, LeafGreen, Diamond, Pearl, Black, White, X, Y, and so on.

When he wasn’t directing, Masuda would usually serve as a Producer or Game Design Advisor in other Pokemon projects or smaller Game Freak projects, such as HarmoKnight and Tembo the Badass Elephant.

Masuda made the following remarks in response to his new role at The Pokemon Company after his departure from Game Freak.

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.

His final projects at Game Freak were Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl as their Director and Pokemon Legends: Arceus as a Supervisor.

The future of Pokemon is just around the corner as the upcoming Pokemon Scarlet and Violet will get a new trailer very soon.