Pokemon players have followed the same routine for years: Be a good kid, raise some Pokemon, and defeat the Elite Four. Along the way, trainers have encountered several nefarious groups, such as Team Magma, Team Aqua, and more recently Team Plasma, but the real bad guys of Pokemon are Team Rocket. Will Pokemon fans ever get to play as the vindictive crime unit? Probably not, according to Pokemon director Junichi Masuda.
Speaking with ONM, the Game Freak honcho was asked about the possibility of players scurrying around Kanto as Team Rocket. “That’s a difficult question to answer,” he said. “But when you think about Team Rocket, while they’re quite comical, they’re still bad guys when they try to steal other trainers’ Pokemon.”
“Imagine watching football on TV, for example–you want them to play fair. I want players to play as heroes in video games, and I want them to play fair.”
Masuda’s “fair” comments refer to Team Rocket’s mission: stealing Pokemon and using them for their own gain, instead of breeding and nurturing them as fellow creatures.
The premise of an anti-hero Pokemon game isn’t the worst way to refresh a massively drawn out series. Eleven of these games have emerged since 1996, and finally playing as the bad guys would give both new and old fans insight into exactly how these teams operate. What was Team Rocket boss Giovanni really doing before players conquered seven gyms, only for him to return as soon as they entered Viridian City? Let your imagination run wild, Game Freak.