‘Pokemon’ latest news: Game director reveals ‘Ruby’ and ‘Sapphire’ were the toughest to make

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Game cover of "Pokemon Ruby" and "Pokemon Sapphire." (Pokemon Database)

Behind every successful video game is a person who painstakingly developed the title. “Pokemon” is one of the most popular franchises in the gaming industry. Its developer revealed a few titles that were the most challenging to make.

Speaking to GameInformer, “Pokemon” director Junichi Masuda shared that “Pokemon Ruby” and “Pokemon Sapphire” were the hardest to make. The two titles came out on Game Boy Advance back in 2002. Game Freak developed the game, and Masuda spearheaded the development.

“With Ruby and Sapphire, the screen got a little longer and it was a different aspect ratio, [and it had] a lot more colors and sound channels so the tech was improved dramatically,” Masuda said. He added that the this gave them more leeway, but with that freedom came the need of finding and using resources more.

Masuda continued, saying the handheld’s power did not challenge them the most during development. Instead, it was replicating, if not exceeding the success of its predecessors, “Pokemon Gold and Silver.”

“After Gold and Silver came out, it was a huge hit around the world, but shortly after everyone was saying, ‘That’s it. The Pokemon fad is over! It’s dead!'” he recalled. Masuda said that the “Pokemon” fad was already declining at that time. He also mentioned that he felt the pressure to prove everyone wrong.

His dedication to his craft even reached extreme levels during the development of “Ruby” and “Sapphire.” He experienced so much stress that he ended up in a hospital for treatment.

In other “Pokemon” news, Niantic Labs confirmed in a post that Legendaries Lugia, Articuno, Moltres, and Zapdos have returned. Trainers can fight the four Legendary birds in Raid Battles until the end of August.

On the other hand, Legendary Pokemon Mewtwo will also be available through the new Exclusive Raid Battle feature.