Because apparently, adorable pocket monsters weren’t in the cards for Nintendo’s N64 snap-a-thon from the get-go. Originally, “Pokémon Snap for the Nintendo 64 system wasn’t a Pokémon game,” Nintendo president Satoru Iwata stated in a recent episode of Iwata Asks on the company’s official Wii website. Instead, it was “a normal game in which you took photos, but the motivation for playing the game wasn’t clear.”
It was a matter of timing that decided the game’s final form, as the popularity of the Pokemon franchise came into full swing just as game designer Masanobu Yamamoto was growing unsure of the direction his project should take.”[A]dopting the Pokémon world clarified what we should do and the direction we should head,” says Yamamoto, and considering the game’s critical and financial success (the latter of which likely rested heavily on the Pokemon brand), it may have been a godsend.
If not for the addition of such a heavy-hitting brand to the game’s design, would Yamamoto’s final game have fell into obscurity? Or would it have still moved over one and a half million units? One can only wonder what kind of original characters were dropped from the preliminary blueprint, and what may have happened to Yamamoto’s unique project should they have made the cut.
Wii.com – Iwata Asks: Kirby’s Epic Yarn via Kotaku