The Official Nintendo Magazine reports
that Pokemon Snap wasn’t originally going to feature Pokemon, according to Nintendo President Satoru Iwata.
“Originally, Pokémon Snap for the Nintendo 64 system wasn’t a Pokémon game, but rather a normal game in which you took photos, but the motivation for playing the game wasn’t clear. We wondered what players would enjoy taking pictures of, and later on we made a somewhat forced switch to taking pictures of Pokémon.” (Iwata)More...
Hal’s Masanobu Yamamoto was working on Pokémon Snap when his game was changed to incorporate Pokémon. “That time, adopting the Pokémon world clarified what we should do and the direction we should head, and I came to like Pokémon, so I felt like that had saved us.