In 1996, a man by the name of Satoshi Tajiri created an idea that would go on to be one of the most recognizable and largest franchises on the planet. I’m talking about none other than Pokemon. It’s rumored that Pikachu is the second most recognized video game character falling just short of Mario’s fame. What a legacy the series has produced.
For anyone who has been living in a cave for the past 10 years, Pokemon is a series in which humans take on the role of a Pokemon trainer and with the aid of Poke balls and other items, catch and train different Pokemon to battle each other, study Pokemon, gain respect, notoriety, and fame. The franchise started as portable games on the Gameboy, but since have moved additionally into anime, manga, trading cards, books, toys, and other merchandise.
I became a fan in 1999, which put me in 9th grade (i.e. the first year of high school). I went crazy for it even though I was “older” than the demographic it was geared towards. I had the games, I had the cards, I video taped the TV shows, I had the books, and I stayed current on the news. Even though it was “juvenile” to other people my age, I was amazed at the world that had been created.
Now, if we fast forward to present day, I have a simple question that has been on my mind for years: Why in the holy name of Snorlax do we not have an official Pokemon MMORPG? Normally, I might ease into the topic of my blogs a bit more subtly, but I’m tired of waiting. Nintendo, answer me why you have not put your attention in making this a reality?
Let’s take a look at the facts. The entire concept of the franchise is based around the individual character/player who’s tasked with exploring various and different areas and locations to find and fight numerous creatures all the while pitting themselves against other characters who are attempting to accomplish the same goals. The wilderness areas such as open fields, forests, caves, and buildings are broken up by towns that act as safe havens and starting points for quests and missions.
It would work brilliantly. What are you waiting for? It can’t be that you’re afraid you wouldn’t have people to play it: the series is massive. You can’t say that people don’t enjoy MMO’s; they can generate more revenue than most games. You don’t have to create a new concept; Pokemon was BUILT for this.
There have been some valiant efforts from fans of the series and they’ve made some decent progress. However, they all fail in one area: they don’t have the capital (money) to really get these off the ground with proper development, execution, support, and marketing.
Nintendo, you have this ability. However, maybe you’re hesitant to invest the money? How does earning a consistent stream of revenue from one project alone sound? How about taking your franchise to a level that allows more people to interact in real time and to share the love they have for the series? Let us reunite our passion for the games that we had with our friends who we no longer live near. You have the ability to make this a reality. Why haven’t you?
Nintendo is famed, and for some hated, for continuing to create new installments for the same intellectual properties. In case you’re new to the industry, how many versions of Mario, Zelda, Metroid, and Kirby have there been over the years? For that matter, how many versions of the Pokemon games have come out over the last 15 years? More than 50, and I have loved them. I still get my copy of Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow out and play it. I’ve done remixes of the music. I’ve loved the franchise even if I’ve fallen away from it over the last few years.
I know I’m not the only one. Join me fans of Pokemon, both vocal and closet. Join me fellow Poke trainers, gym masters, and breeders. Join me fans of Ash, Misty, Brock, and Professor Oak. Let our voices join together as one as we chant the desire of our hearts. Nintendo, hear our song and use it to cement your nerve as you set out to make our dream a reality. Hear the song of the sirens who we have come to love.