Pokemon devs reveal next game, and it couldn’t be more different
More often than not, developers stick to what they're good at. Rocksteady has made a name for itself with superhero games, while Bethesda uses the cookie-cutter formula of an open-world adventure and slaps it with a new setting for the likes of The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, and Starfield.
FromSoftware's gloomy aesthetic of the Dark and Demon's Souls games has spilt over into Bloodborne and Elden Ring - leaving the mech madness of Armored Core as an anomaly. It's a case of sticking to what you're good at, but now, Game Freak is peeling away from the Pokemon series in a way we've never seen.
Game Freak's next game is NOT Pokemon
Game Freak has announced the mysterious "Project Bloom," which couldn't be further from the pastels of Pallet Town if it tried. Working with Western publisher Private Division, this looks like a complete break from the usual fodder of enslaving Pocket Monsters in tiny balls.
The announcement comes with the first piece of concept art, which looks like it's pulled from FromSoftware's Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Although not giving much away, we see a samurai dwarfed by a massive forest environment - proving this is unlike anything we've seen from Game Freak.
Private Division Head Michael Worosz said the publisher is "honored" to be the first in the West to work with Game Freak. Hyping Project Bloom, Game Freak Director Kota Furushima said, "We're thrilled to have the opportunity to create new IP that is bold and tonally different from our prior work."
"From the beginning, Private Division was the publisher we wanted to work with on our new game. Their track record and global expertise give us all the confidence to create a sweeping new action-adventure game that we can't wait to share more about in the future."
Is Project Bloom bad news for Pokemon?
While Game Freak is obviously known for its work on the mainline Pokemon games, it's also had a hand in the likes of 2019's Little Town Hero, 2017's Tembo the Badass Elephant, and the Giga Wrecker games. As for Private Division, it's helped publish everything from The Outer Worlds to Hades.
Although Pokemon Scarlet & Violet disappointed some, players were already looking ahead at Gen 10 and the inevitable sequel. It's possible we could get more remasters akin to ILCA's Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl to fill in the gaps, but for now, make the most of Gen 9 while you can.
Project Bloom currently doesn't have a release date, although it's expected to land in Take-Two Interactive's 2026 fiscal year. With the team presumably busy on Project Bloom, it has us questioning what's next for Pokemon. Then again, it wasn't long ago that Game Freak teased it was moving away from Pokemon.