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Game Freak changed company structure to encourage new projects

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Game Freak, the developer behind the Pokémon franchise and upcoming rhythm side-scroller HarmoKnight, altered its company's internal structure to "initiate new projects" while still being able to commit to Pokémon titles, producer Junichi Masuda said.

Speaking with Nintendo global president Satoru Iwata during an "Iwata Asks" interview, Masuda explained that the company was "absolutely committed" to meeting fan expectations.

"We have structured things so that if you come up with an idea for a game, you can write a proposal for it," Masuda said. "If you can then get two other people to support it, you will be given three months to make it."

Masuda continued that if the project is worth pursuing, the company gives the team three more months to work. After six months, it's passed to management to decide if it's worth a full project.

"HarmoKnight is the first fruit of our company's new system, which encourages people who have an idea to just give it a go," Masuda said.

HarmoKnight released in Japan on Sept. 5, 2012. The game will be available for Nintendo 3DS on March 28 in the Nintendo eShop.