Game Freak is actually working on a new game that isn't Pokémon

Game Freak's Project Bloom.
Game Freak's Project Bloom. (Image credit: Game Freak)

What you need to know

  • Game Freak is the developer behind the mainline Pokémon games. 
  • Today, the developer announced a brand new game to be published by Take-Two's Private Division. 
  • The action-adventure game is codenamed Project Bloom and seems to center around a samurai. 

For most people, Game Freak is synonymous with the Pokémon series and Nintendo since this is the developer that produces all of the mainline creature-collecting adventures. However, it seems that Pikachu's friends are currently working outside of the pocket monster universe to create a brand-new action-adventure title. 

As announced via Private Division's Twitter account, the Take-Two label is "partnering with Game Freak on an upcoming action-adventure game, codenamed Project Bloom." This will be the first Western publisher to work with Japan-based Game Freak. 

In an official statement, Game Freak director Kota Furushima talked about how this partnership came to be and what players can expect from Project Bloom: 

"We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to create new IP that is bold and tonally different from our prior work. From the beginning, Private Division was the publisher we wanted to work with on our new game. Their track record and global expertise give us all the confidence to create a sweeping new action-adventure game that we can't wait to share more about in the future."

Using words like "sweeping" gives the idea that Project Bloom will be an ambitious title that could be nothing like anything Game Freak has ever created before. It seems from the official concept art of Project Bloom that has been released thus far that the upcoming action-adventure title could center on a samurai. The image shows this individual standing in a forest surrounded by massive, gnarled trees in the mystically solemn lighting of a setting sun. 

While there is no exact release date, Project Bloom is expected to release "during Take-Two's Fiscal Year 2026." We'll learn more about this game from Game Freak and Private Division in the future. 

Windows Central's take

It's unclear at the moment what platforms Project Bloom will eventually land on, but it's not outside of the realm of possibility to assume it could be more than just Nintendo consoles. After all, Private Division (whose parent company is Take-Two Interactive) often releases games for all major platforms including Xbox Series X, PC, and PlayStation. Even Game Freak themselves have released a handful of modestly well-received games in the last few years such as Giga Wrecker, Pocket Card Jockey, and Tembo the Badass Elephant, some of which landed on Xbox and PlayStation. 

Despite what some people might think, Game Freak is not owned by Nintendo but is rather just an affiliate company. However, The Pokémon Company is a joint venture between Nintendo, Game Freak, and Creatures Inc., which keeps all three companies closely entwined in relation to Pokémon games. It also happens that Game Freak moved into the same building as Nintendo's main Tokyo offices in 2020, which isn't surprising since these companies often work together on projects.

On another note, it's not surprising that Game Freak is looking to make a non-Pokémon game considering that Game director Masao Taya specifically stated in an interview with Axios that "we believe that it is very important for the studio to continue making and releasing titles outside of the Pokémon series.” Perhaps the company is burnt out from years of demanding and upset Pokémon fans who threaten to boycott the games when tree textures don't look good enough (as was the case with Sword and Shield). Or perhaps they just want a change of pace. 

Of course, Pokémon is too lucrative of a franchise for Nintendo, Game Freak, and Creatures Inc. to let go of, so there will undoubtedly be additional mainline Pokémon games in our future. It's just good to see Game Freak being able to stretch its wings a bit more and try something different every now and then.

Rebecca Spear
Editor and Reviewer

Self-professed gaming geek, Rebecca Spear, is one of Windows Central's editors and reviewers with a focus on gaming handhelds, PC gaming, and laptops. When she isn't checking out the latest games on Xbox Game Pass, PC, ROG Ally, or Steam Deck; she can be found digital drawing with a Wacom tablet. She's written thousands of articles with everything from editorials, reviews, previews, features, previews, and hardware reviews over the last few years. If you need information about anything gaming-related, her articles can help you out. She also loves testing game accessories and any new tech on the market. You can follow her @rrspear on X (formerly Twitter).