After we had explored the Unova region in Pokémon Black and Pokémon White, as with the previous generations, many had expected that Game Freak would move on to develop a third iteration, Pokémon Gray.
Between The Pokémon Company teasing “even more amazing games” for 2012 and a registered Pokémon Gray domain soon surfacing, the world was understandably surprised when Pokémon Black 2 and Pokémon White 2 were announced.
“Near the end of the development of Black and White, the team was coming up with ideas of what we would do next and a lot of them felt like they really wanted to expand on the story and the world of Black and White,” Masuda discussed with Game Informer in their September issue.
“So, the idea came up – what if we did a game that was set a couple years after Black and White wrapped up to kind of show how things changed and expand on the events of the previous one?”
Unlike Pokémon Yellow, Pokémon Crystal, Pokémon Emerald, and Pokémon Platinum before it, that chance to delve deeper into the lore in the fifth generation resulted in two games, not one, that saw release two years after their predecessors.
“The number two just kept popping up. We thought, ‘Why don’t we call it Black and White 2?’ which is pretty much how the title came up.
“A lot of people were expecting Pokémon Gray at the time, but the concept of Black and White was kind of these opposing forces – a yin-yang kind of thing. If we went with Gray, it would have moved away from that concept so we decided to keep the titles there.”