One might want to write off the Detective Pikachu franchise as simply a “spinoff that got some clout.” But it’s had a bigger importance than you might think. First, it’s had two games on Nintendo platforms via the 3DS and the Switch, both of which were well enough received. Second, the franchise spawned a live-action movie, the first for the Pokemon franchise, and it was a box office hit. It’d even be fair to say that this movie helped start the “quality change” in video game adaptations in the live-action space. But just as important, it proves that sometimes you can do something wacky with an established franchise, and it’ll be a hit!
But that brings up the question, “Why was Detective Pikachu made in the first place?” Famitsu got to the bottom of this by talking to the team behind the game at Creatures. Executive producer Tsunekazu Ishihara, alongside Producer and Writer of the Switch game Hiroyuki Jinnai, discussed their team’s role in making this spinoff series what it is. Jinnai pointed out:
“To start with some context, Creatures is mostly responsible for spin-offs of Pokemon – from the Pokemon Tales series to the Pokemon Ranger series or the PokePark series, and also the Detective Pikachu series.”
He went on to note:
“After development finished on PokePark, when we thought about what kind of game to make next, we set our sights on creating an adventure game, which had not been done for Pokemon spin-off titles yet. However, just trying to create a normal one didn’t seem very interesting. While considering various ideas, we thought of adding some spice to it with the element of a “talking middle-aged man Pikachu”, and that led to the creation of Detective Pikachu.”
So there you go! But now the question is, will the series get a third entry? Ishihara spoke on this with:
“We can’t promise anything at this point in time, but if Detective Pikachu Returns is received well and there’s a huge demand from the people, there could be room for more spin-offs as such.”