That's not right, there are several excuses.
First, what you're saying about Kena isn't accurate. It's true, the core dev team is a small, a 29 person studio, but the bulk of the art budget is being handled by Sony and outsourced studio Sparx, which is nearly three times larger than all of Gamefreak combined. Additionally, PS5 is three and a half years newer than the Switch, runs on 200 watts while Switch maxes out at 18, and the console itself is about 115 times larger. There is a notable reason for the difference in graphical fidelity between the two consoles.
Then there is the creators of the game itself which likely includes long time Pokemon artist Ken Sugimori in creating Arceus. Maybe he and the team isn't interested in handing the art to another team. Who knows? Maybe they enjoy doing it to create their baby rather than adopting - not that there's anything wrong with adoption, it's just not for everyone.
That's three fairly big excuses right there.
It's possible for Game Freak to Sparx to do the art and make the game for PS5, but it's obvious why they don't want to.
The size of Sparx is a misguided-information. Well, they can now have everyone in this studio working on Kena? Of course. Are they though? I doubt. Once the game is finished and info about the staff working on the game we can possibly compare with Pokemon dev teams. Your stating PS5 specs is also misleading, as the game will be released on PS4
They are outsourcing Diamond and Pearl remakes so outsourcing isn't the problem here, more likely they just don't want to spend more money hiring a more skilled technical studio to make the models. On Sword and Shield (a game with lackluster graphics) the character modeling, motion designing and map development teams had at least 30 to 50 members each, while network, engine, field programming, UI and battle system teams had at best 8 members each. The message is clear, core programming can be done with small teams (it's a turn based JRPG with a simplistic engine after all), while graphics needs big teams and higher expenses and you can't really workaround those costs
Still, Pokemon Sword and Shield have a fairly big graphical team. For instance, the number of people working on graphics teams for Sword and Shield was about 120 people, you can check yourself. For instance, Immortal Fenyx rising is an open-world Zelda-like game that runs on Switch as had about 100 people working on graphics, animations and models, I found that here
So indeed, it's perfectly possible to make beautiful looking an open-world Switch game with a one hundred man staff. So the only one (truthful) excuses for Game Freak are:
1) They don't have the proper know-how to build high quality graphics and character modeling, and after half a decade working on games for Switch they still not learned because they don't care or are just plain incompetent
2) They don't want to increase the budget to make their games looks better hiring more skilled studios to do their jobs
I also wants to add, Sword and Shield had A THOUSAND people working on it. And not only 20% of them worked on the game itself the other were PR guys, localization workers, distribution, animation designers (for anime series/movies), product designs (for merchan), maybe the games looks ugly because the games themselves are just not their priority.
Last edited by IcaroRibeiro - on 19 August 2021