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Pokemon producer: An online game wouldn't be best for the franchise

Is there a full, online-only Pokemon game in Nintendo's future? According to longtime producer Junichi Masuda, in person interaction is "much more enjoyable" -- and that affects the decision.
Due to be released in North America this Sunday, Pokemon Black and White 2 further boost the series' online connectivity, which includes global trading and battling and a separate browser game that interacts with the DS titles. But according to producer Junichi Masuda, a full, persistent online game may not be in the series' future. "I really like online connectivity, but for example, we're having this phone call right now, and it's really cool that we can communicate with each other from two really faraway places. But at the same time, it would also be really great if we could talk in person," said Masuda, alluding to the fact that the interview was conducted by phone. "It's much more enjoyable when you're talking in person. So I think the best way is to have kind of both at the same time, being able to enjoy this kind of faraway communication, as well as having aspects that allow you to enjoy communication face-to-face and in-person communication," says Masuda. This despite the fact that Masuda tells Gamasutra that "The aspect of communication, having more people communicate with each other, is very important for the games." In fact, he said, rather than battling, story, or RPG exploration, "Trading is really the core concept behind the Pokemon games; it's really the core idea that birthed the Pokemon games, and everything really exists to facilitate trading." He'd just rather see players trade in the real world. For more from Masuda, and director Takao Unno, you can read the full feature interview, live now on Gamasutra.

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