This will be an ongoing series of untouched IP's/Themes with amazing MMO potential.
Lately i've been thinking about a few relatively popular IP's that would make amazing, engaging, and fun MMO's. But there was one that REALLY stuck out for me, and i'm utterly surprised, with what all the products, media, and paraphenalia in existance for this IP, there has been one form of media that has been untouched by it.
What am I talking about? Pokemon.
Yes, Pokemon. Sure i'm 22 years old. Sure the IP in question is aimed more for kids. And sure the style is a bit kidified and simplistic. But this game was literally my entry into the gaming world. On my 13th birthday I got a Gameboy Color with Pokemon Yellow. I beat that game in two days, then played the others. I even played the TCG, it being my entry into the Card Game hobby.
Pokemon has boardgames, card games, hand held games, even console games. But it's missing something that I think EVERYONE would play without shame. And one that would make them so much money, i'm shocked that they havn't done anything yet.
The IP has everything an MMO needs:
- Massive World
- Loads of Content
- A Unique Gamestyle
- Massive Community
- Strong IP
- Something for Everyone
Pokemon as an MMO would have amazing, limitless potential. There's what? 500 some odd Pokemon to catch? An enormous amount of zones, cities, and wilderness to explore, travel, and visit. Loads of content in the way of items such as potions, boosters, pokeballs, tools, and travel gear such as backpacks, bicycles and such. Amazing potential for character customization with clothing shops, apartments, homes, and furniture and the like. Player interaction in the way of player run Gyms, contests, battle tournaments, pokemon shows, fashion shows and the like.
It's just mind boggling the potential they have, and they utter lack of taking advantage of it. I mean they sorta went that way with Pokemon Stadium and Pokemon Coliseum, but they could go even further! An MMO that encompasses all that is Pokemon.
Multiple factions, enemies, and NPC's. You have Team Rocket, Team Aqua, and Team Magma as rivals. You have an amazing diversity in what one could be, such as a Pokemon Photographer like Bill, a Pokemon Professor like Oak, Elm, and Birch, Pokemon Ranger, Gym Leader, Pokemon Scientist, Pokemon Master, Pokemon Breeder, etc. And no end to the number of other rival Pokemon owners and masters out there.
Plenty of starting areas with a plethora of starting Pokemon to choose from, such as the original three Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle to newer ones such as Turtwig, Chimchar, and Piplup. There's enough diversity there at the beginning, and then it just grows as the players travel and catch pokemon, gathering badges, trophies, etc.
This can do away with player levels, and utilize the leveling of Pokemon like in the Gameboy games. This would remove some of the aspect of the endless grind, as you would find more Pokemon, and your six you travel with ever changing.
This would also open the door to what I alluded to above, with Gyms. Players could become Gym Leaders, running their own Gym's with other players, creating the Gym, their badge, theme, and the like. This would allow for major player diversity, player interaction, and a dynamic to the world. Player run tournements, competitions, and such. Organized by the players.
This could even grow to a form of guilds, we could call Pokemon Clubs and Leagues. Have traveling parties much like the show with Ash, May/Misty, and Brock and the like. Allowing for more player interaction and interesting battle options such as Team Battles. Pokemon Leagues could build a set of Gyms, a small Town/City, Stadiums, etc. complete with Pokemarts, Pokecenters and such. All player run.
Players could customize their characters to no end, with a plethora of hairstyles, facial features, body types. And with clothing and accessories being so numerous, no one player would look alike. Using pokedollars they gain from winning battles, competitions, or what have you and purchasing items ranging from potions and pokeballs to clothing, accessories, bicycles and upgrades, to even furniture for your room/home/apartment.
Trading Pokemon and items would be another amazing form of player interaction. Allowing for players to trade pokemon they couldn't catch, want, or need for others, registering them in their Pokedex, and making friends and the like. It's amazing the potential there would be for player interaction.
This IP screams of player interaction and community. It screams of limitless possibilities. It screams of a major untapped market that I guarantee EVERY player here would try. Many knock Pokemon for being for kids, but I bet almost none here can say they never played one form of the Pokemon world. I know I have. I've played every single hand held game, almost all of the console games, and used to play the TCG.
Nintendo needs to take note, and use this IP for an MMO. It would be a major success as long as it's done right, and would be their first major entry into the MMO world, and honestly? This could possibly knock WoW off it's throne, bringing forth a new age into the MMO world.
So, what do you all think?