Some twenty years ago, a roleplaying game released onto the original Nintendo GameBoy marked the start of a franchise that’s loved the world over. Today, Pokémon is the second best-selling video game franchise – defeated only by the Mario franchise. Its long list of accolades includes eight Guinness World Records, one of which is “Most Successful RPG Series of All Time”.
Over the course of the last two decades, we’ve seen the franchise take on different forms – from the very first RPG games, to the anime, to the TCG, and then back to video games with varying gameplay mechanics. In 2016, the franchise is poised to take on two new forms: the full-fledged fighter Pokkén Tournament, and the augmented reality game Pokémon Go.
Between those two games, a recent Nintendo Direct dedicated to the franchise also announced the coming of two new entries to the RPGs: Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon. With all these new games coming, you have to wonder what the future of the franchise will bring.
Pokémon Go and what we know so far
When we last wrote about the Niantic Labs/Pokémon Company project, the planned release date was the first quarter of 2016 (or if some rumors were to be believed, February 27th). According to the release, the game is going to be a lot like Niantic Labs’ Ingress. Players will be able to catch Pokémon wherever they are, with the available Pokémon changing depending on the location. This probably means that players are going to do a lot more walking around than they might expect.
Recent reports state that the game will not release worldwide at the same time. North America, Europe, and Japan will be the first to experience the game, with other countries following soon after. Niantic Labs will be making an appearance at the Game Developers’ Conference this month, and you can bet that they’ll be demo-ing the game.
If you’re wondering just how much Nintendo and The Pokémon Company believe in the game, here’s a look at the TV spot that aired during SuperBowl 50 in the US. Said TV spot cost upwards of $10 Million, which is telling.
We might not have to wait that much longer. Japan is reportedly first up for the beta tests, which will happen sometime in March.