Gamasutra: When Nintendo's Pokemon Black & White launches in the West on March 11, it'll mark the fifth generation of games based on an ever-growing lexicon of battling monsters. The Pokemon franchise is a funny beast, beloved to its fans for its friendly RPG universe and deceptively deep stat mechanics -- but most of all, because it's always familiar.
That sort of brand presents a particular challenge for any game designer. How do you evolve a series when there's so little you can change and still maintain what loyalists love? Gamasutra had the chance to talk to Junichi Masuda, co-founder of developer GameFreak and director on the Black & White version, and that's exactly what we asked him first.