As one of the most widely loved Pokémon spin offs, Pokémon Snap quickly captured the hearts of the entire Pokémon fan base. One of the few games with a truly original game mechanic and concept, it was a refreshing change for members of the fandom. Being a huge Pokémon fan girl, it was the game that I bought the Nintendo 64 for, and I was not disappointed.
Brought out 17 years ago in 1999, Pokémon Snap was the 12th best selling title for the Nintendo 64 selling almost 3 million copies. It sold good enough on its original platform to be released onto the Wii Virtual Console in 2007 and continued to sell well. Everything about this Pokémon spin off screamed unique, original, and ultimately huge success for Nintendo, and yet a sequel remains elusive.
Junichi Masuda, sound designer for the Pokémon series, has admitted there has been high demand for a sequel to the game in which you have to quickly snap photos of Pokémon as your vehicle continuously moves towards its goal. In an interview back in 2014 he admitted that there was nothing specifically stopping a sequel, but that he wouldn't want it to just be a remastering. Instead there would have to be a interesting new mechanic which would change up the game.
"It’s really popular! We get this a lot. If they were to create another one, they’d probably need to come up with some kind of new invention to make it fresh… of course, everyone thinks of the GamePad, but whoever made it would have to come up with something unexpected.
Fans have pointed out to Masuda many times that the Wii U's gyroscopic gamepad would work perfectly with a Pokémon Snap sequel keeping the series "fresh," but even as early as 2012 he seemed to shrug off this idea.
"Photography wasn't as widely spread in those days. Now everyone has a camera and can take photos whenever they want. Releasing it in that same form wouldn't be as interesting these days. Maybe there's a new idea, though."
In fact, the developers of Pokémon Snap, HAL Laboratory, who also developed classic series' such as Kirby, Earthbound, and Super Smash Bros. are already signed up to Nintendo exclusively, meaning there are no licensing issues preventing the sequel. However, it is likely that the success of these other series is keeping HAL extremely busy. Nintendo is a publisher known for their high quality products, and with the release of a new Kirby game seemingly every year, and each with its own unique new mechanic such as Epic Yarn, Rainbow Curse, or even the upcoming Planet Robobot, there is little time to work on a risk like whether or not Pokémon Snap can become great again.
It's a meme almost as common as Half-Life 3, so we know that the demand is there, but just like the Valve IP it seems unlikely that our dreams will become reality any time soon.
Would you buy a Pokemon Snap sequel?