5 Reasons Why We Need A 'Pokémon' MMO
Everyone has been crazy about Pokémon ever since the first games came out way back in ‘96, and Nintendo knows it. The company has been churning out more-polished versions of the same nearly 30-year-old game and it works because even though the game has gone stale long ago, people are just addicted to it. So, as the good doctors that we are, we'll try not to combat addiction, but rather try to convince Nintendo to just take the next logical step and provide players better drugs in the shape of a real goddamn Pokémon online experience.
People want it. Remember how big Pokemon Go Was?
It might feel like a fake implanted memory nowadays, but there was a happy time when kids and grown-ups alike spent most of their time outside looking for Pokémon. Yeah, that happened, and that distant time was just the year 2016. Those days, known to many as the last days before everything went to absolute crap, were made possible by Pokémon Go, a game that found enormous success simply for releasing the concept of Pokémon from its usual Gameboy or Nintendo DS-shaped prison. In hindsight, there's not much of a surprise here – it has always been so weird that Pokémon games always managed to strive even though they only came out on portable consoles that made no particular use of their portable capabilities.
Pokémon Go's revolutionary new mechanics, combined with the popular brand, unleashed a never-before-seen wave of interest in games and it wasn't even a great game – or an original one, for that matter. It was basically an official mod for Ingress, a 2012 game from Niantic nobody ever cared about. Nintendo's stock soared high even though the company had nothing to do with the game. That thing bad that hit the world in 2020 might still take a while to completely go away, but, when it does, companies should be well aware that people will be ready for and eager for something akin to Pokémon Go – but better. And there's another really good reason why this is the perfect time to unleash a real MMO Pokémon experience.
WoW is dying, it's time for a new king
World Of Warcraft has had a good run, but, people have grown less and less enthused by it. Are people done with MMORPGs? Not at all, as they've been happily jumping off WoW's burning ship to Final Fantasy XIV, a game that, despite its high quality, lived most of its life in WoW's shadow. On top of WoW having started to show its age (a few years ago), Activision Blizzard has now soured its once-pristine reputation among fans.
Those things might have killed WoW, but they didn't fill the giant WoW-shaped hole left by it. People want a fresh king of MMORPGs, something new gameplay-wise but preferably based on a popular brand. That's what Blizzard did back in the day with WoW, and what better contender for today's crown than an IP that seems specifically made for that?
Pokémon has always been the story of an MMORPG
When we think about the story of Pokémon, we think about the story of Ash Ketchum, a kid who never ages and leaves his home to make a career out of capturing animals and forcing them to fight other animals. That's totally cool, sure, except for one glaring thing: that's not the plot of the games, and they preceded the actual show. In the game we don't play as Ash, we play as just a kid because this is not the story of one person, but the story of a world where every kid goes on the exact same highly irresponsible adventure. We could ask our readers to picture a game where players could go on their own adventure, group up to catch stronger and rarer Pokémon, or have tournaments where they have their best Pokémon squaring off against each other to see who's the best, but that already exists. We're just talking about the best parts of many different MMORPGs, and it sucks that they all got there before Pokémon did.
It could cement the Nintendo Switch as the greatest console of all time
Even though Nintendo can partially thank the global shortage of the unobtanium required to make the magical chips that power the PS5 for it, the Nintendo Switch is topping sales charts all over the world. Either way, that's not underserved at all. The Switch is a great and unique system, one that could serve as the perfect home for, say, a Pokémon experience that not even the PC can compete with. Sure, the Switch doesn't have all the functionalities of a cellphone, so it's not as if they can just make “Pokémon Go but better”, but it's not as if Nintendo is beyond revamping their consoles with bonkers new features. Even if they don't do that, they already have more than enough to come up with a new online formula for Pokémon games that'll floor every fan.
Even fans don't care for the few changes Nintendo has made over the years
Pokémon Legends Arceus, the latest Pokémon release, certainly brings the largest visual evolution ever seen in the series, but the formula remains the same and the gameplay grows staler by the day. This game takes players to the old days of the Pokémon world, a move completely drenched wasted effort as the game would've felt ancient either way. We still bite, but that's more because we like Pokémon, less because these games are anything to write home about. Unlike the GTA series, one that manages to remain fresh and enticing even though we've been playing the same game for nearly a decade now, the Pokémon series keeps on making us buy new games that are actually just the old games. Nintendo knows anything even similar to Pokémon stands to make a bajillion dollars – just look at all the inexplicably successful awful NFT-based ripoffs out there, so why not just try and give us something new (and NFT-unrelated, please).
Top Image: Nintendo