You would think a good detective would be able to solve a mystery about where the sequel to a successful Pokémon spinoff game is after more than six years and a theatrical film. Yet it’s 2022, and the only news there is about Detective Pikachu are updates pulled from unofficial sources and employee records.
Originally titled Great Detective Pikachu: Birth of a New Duo, Detective Pikachu was released in Japan back in February 2016 as a 3DS exclusive title before coming to the West in March 2018. That gap, along with the game releasing well after the Nintendo Switch had become available, had fans speculating that a port or eventual sequel would be coming to the hybrid console.
Eventually, a live-action film based on the game released in May 2019, and it grossed over $433 million worldwide.
Following the success of the film, TPC announced that Creatures Inc. was in the process of developing a Detective Pikachu sequel that would continue the story of the original 3DS game for the Switch in May 2019. However, no official update on the project has been shared since then.
That isn’t odd, as we usually don’t hear about Pokémon titles being developed early, and it was likely only announced so far out because The Pokémon Company wanted to ensure the hype around the series wouldn’t die out so quickly after the movie. But the only additional “updates” fans have received three years since that initial announcement have been scant clues pulled from job listings and employee profiles.
Back in February, an internal job page from Creatures was discovered that mentioned someone being in charge of programming and drawing related to the Detective Pikachu sequel, along with some additional info about his role and an upcoming focus on furthering technology for projects. This has now been followed up by someone spotting an updated bio for a senior game programmer at Creatures Inc, Jonathan Murphy.
On LinkedIn, Murphy lists that he is working on an unannounced project at Creatures while also helping to develop Detective Pikachu 2.
Murphy has worked as a senior programmer and Unity consultant within Creatures for over five years, so this listing holds a lot of weight to show the game is still well underway. However, since this was initially pointed out, Murphy has updated his bio to list Detective Pikachu 2 as “in development,” where originally it said the game was “nearing release.”
Considering the first game was revealed around Pokémon Day 2016 for its Japanese release and then again around that same timeframe two years later in the West, there is a decent shot at fans getting some Detective Pikachu 2 news either later this year or in early 2023.
Since there likely won’t be a Pokémon spinoff game this year, between the release of two main titles like Pokémon Legends: Arceus and Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, this will actually be the first time since 1997 that the Pokémon franchise doesn’t receive any spinoff title.
If Detective Pikachu 2 is announced and potentially released in 2023, following its predecessor in a quick turnaround from reveal to release, it will likely be ordered similarly to 2020’s timeline, where the spinoff game Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX got the spotlight ahead of the first DLC for main games Sword and Shield.