Game Freak

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Game Freak Co., Ltd.
Native name
Gēmu Furīku
TypePrivate KK
IndustryVideo games
GenreVideo game development
FoundedApril 26, 1989; 33 years ago (1989-04-26) in Tokyo, Japan
HeadquartersKanda Square, 2-2-1 Kandanishiki-cho, ,
Number of locations
2 (Kanda Square, Carrot Tower) (2020)
Key people
Number of employees
169 (2022)
SubsidiariesKoa Games
Footnotes / references

Game Freak Co., Ltd.[a] is a Japanese video game developer, best known as the primary developer of the mainline Pokémon series of role-playing video games published by Nintendo and The Pokémon Company.


The covers of several issues of Game Freak magazine

Predating the video game company, Game Freak was a self-published video game magazine created by Satoshi Tajiri and Ken Sugimori in the 1980s. The first issue was published in 1983 by Tajiri.[3] Sugimori would join the magazine at a later date as an illustrator after finding the magazine in a shop and liking it.[4] Tajiri also used "Game Freak" as his pen name when he wrote as a freelance writer to publications such as Family Computer Magazine and Famicom Tsūshin.[5][6]

On April 26, 1989, Tajiri, Sugimori and Junichi Masuda started a video game development company with the same name.[7][8][9][10] One of Game Freak's first games was the Nintendo Entertainment System action and puzzle game Quinty, which was released in North America as Mendel Palace. Its most popular series, Pokémon—the romanized portmanteau of the Japanese brand Pocket Monsters (ポケットモンスター, Poketto Monsutā)[11]—is published and distributed respectively by The Pokémon Company and Nintendo worldwide.

In October 2015, Game Freak bought Koa Games, a mobile development company.[12]

In May 2019, Game Freak director Masayuki Onoue revealed that Game Freak is increasingly prioritizing original game creation, in order to grow the experience of its staff.[13] The company's Gear Project initiative, which encourages creators to pitch original game ideas during quiet periods, has so far resulted in original games HarmoKnight, Pocket Card Jockey, Tembo the Badass Elephant and Giga Wrecker.[14]

In February 2020, Game Freak transferred from its building in Tokyo to a much larger office near Nintendo, which planned to relocate four other divisions, plus other companies based in Kanda-Nishikicho, Tokyo. With this move, Game Freak is currently in the same building as Nintendo EPD Tokyo, Nintendo PTD Tokyo, HAL Laboratory and 1-Up Studio.[15]

On June 1, 2022, it was announced that Masuda stepped down from his position as managing director at Game Freak, left the company and that he would be Chief Creative Fellow at The Pokemon Company effectively on the same day.


List of video games developed by Game Freak
Year Title Publisher Platform(s)
1989 Mendel Palace NamcoJP, Hudson SoftNA Nintendo Entertainment System
1991 Smart Ball Epic/Sony RecordsJP, Sony ImagesoftNA Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Yoshi Nintendo NES, Game Boy
1992 Magical Tarurūto-kun Sega Mega Drive
1993 Mario & Wario Nintendo Super Famicom
1994 Nontan to Issho: KuruKuru Puzzle Victor Entertainment Game Boy, Super Famicom
Pulseman Sega Mega Drive
1996 Pokémon Red and Blue Nintendo Game Boy
Bazaar de Gosāru no Game de Gosāru NEC Home Electronics PC Engine CD-ROM²
1997 Bushi Seiryūden: Futari no Yūsha T&E Soft Super Famicom
1998 Pokémon Yellow Nintendo Game Boy
1999 Click Medic Sony Music Entertainment Japan PlayStation
Pokémon Gold and Silver Nintendo Game Boy Color
2000 Pokémon Crystal
2002 Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire Nintendo
The Pokémon Company
Game Boy Advance
2004 Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen
Pokémon Emerald
2005 Drill Dozer Nintendo
2006 Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Nintendo
The Pokémon Company
Nintendo DS
2008 Pokémon Platinum
2009 Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver
2010 Pokémon Black and White
2012 Pokémon Black 2 and White 2
HarmoKnight Nintendo Nintendo 3DS
2013 Pocket Card Jockey[16] Game FreakJP, NintendoWW Nintendo 3DS, iOS, Android
Pokémon X and Y Nintendo
The Pokémon Company
Nintendo 3DS
2014 Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire
2015 Tembo the Badass Elephant Sega Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Windows
2016 Pokémon Sun and Moon Nintendo
The Pokémon Company
Nintendo 3DS
2017 Giga Wrecker Rising Star Games Windows
Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon Nintendo
The Pokémon Company
Nintendo 3DS
2018 Pokémon Quest Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android
Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! Nintendo Switch
2019 Giga Wrecker Alt.[17] Rising Star Games PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Little Town Hero[18] Digital: Game Freak
Retail: NIS AmericaWW, Rainy FrogJP
Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
Pokémon Sword and Shield Nintendo
The Pokémon Company
Nintendo Switch
2022 Pokémon Legends: Arceus
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet
2023 Pocket Card Jockey: Ride On![19] Game Freak iOS, macOS


  1. ^ Japanese: 株式会社ゲームフリーク, Hepburn: Kabushiki gaisha Gēmu Furīku


  1. ^ "会社概要|GAME FREAK 株式会社ゲームフリーク|GAME FREAK 株式会社ゲームフリーク". GAME FREAK 株式会社ゲームフリーク オフィシャルサイト (in Japanese). Retrieved July 4, 2020.
  2. ^ "GAME FREAK Secret Base for GAME FREAK's 30th Anniversary | GAME FREAK". GAME FREAK Secret Base for GAME FREAK's 30th Anniversary | GAME FREAK. Retrieved July 4, 2020.
  3. ^ ポケモンをつくった男 田尻智 [Satoshi Tajiri: A Man Who Created Pokémon]. 2004. ISBN 978-4872338331.
  4. ^ "Interview: Tajiri and Ishihara on Pokemon's Beginnings". November 25, 2020. Archived from the original on January 18, 2021. Retrieved December 6, 2021. Dr Lava's notes: Before it was a video game company, Game Freak was a gaming magazine Tajiri hand-wrote and stapled together from home in the early 1980's.
  5. ^ Satoshi Tajiri (January 6, 1989). ぼくたちゲーセン野郎. Family Computer Magazine (in Japanese): 114–115. Retrieved November 29, 2015.
  6. ^ Satoshi Tajiri (August 1, 1986). ビデヲゲーム通信. Biweekly Famicom Journal (in Japanese). Retrieved November 29, 2015.
  7. ^ Kohler, Chris (April 19, 2010). "Pokémon Creators' Fanzine Fetches High Price". Wired.
  8. ^ "COLUMN: 'Game Mag Weaseling': Just Checking In". GameSetWatch.
  9. ^ Previous post Next post (April 19, 2010). "Pokémon Creators' Fanzine Fetches High Price | GameLife". Retrieved November 16, 2010.
  10. ^ Gifford, Kevin (April 7, 2008). "COLUMN: 'Game Mag Weaseling': Just Checking In". GameSetWatch. Retrieved November 16, 2010.
  11. ^ Swider, Matt. "The Pokemon Series Pokedex". Gaming Target. Gaming Target. Retrieved February 28, 2007.
  12. ^ "Pokémon Developer Game Freak Has Purchased a Mobile Game Development Company". Gamnesia. October 27, 2015.
  13. ^ Robinson, Andy. "Game Freak 'prioritising' original game projects". Video Games Chronicle.
  14. ^ Robinson, Andy. "Game Freak interview: 'We're trying to create something more than Pokemon'". Video Games Chronicle.
  15. ^ "Game Freak Is Moving Closer to Nintendo's Headquarters". February 3, 2020.
  16. ^ "Pocket Card Jockey for Nintendo 3DS". Nintendo of America, Inc. Retrieved May 7, 2016.
  17. ^ Good, Owen (January 18, 2019). "Game Freak's Giga Wrecker is coming to consoles in 2019". Polygon. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  18. ^ Marks, Tom (September 4, 2019). "Game Freak's Little Town Hero Releases Next Month". IGN. Retrieved September 5, 2019.
  19. ^ Romano, Sal (January 3, 2023). "Game Freak announces Pocket Card Jockey: Ride On! for Apple Arcade". Gematsu. Retrieved January 3, 2023.

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