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The staff of MMORPG.com gets together to bring you some behind the scenes insights on stories, the industry and the site itself.

Author: staffblog

Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

Community Spotlight: "Pokemon" Style MMOs

Posted by MikeB Saturday October 29 2011 at 4:44PM
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This week's Community Spotlight focuses on the thread "Why no Pokemon-Esque MMOs" by robert4818. Like most of our spotlights, this one is fairly straightforward:

Seriously, I have to wonder why nobody has taken the Pokemon concept, and actually made it into an MMO.

First, before anyone jumps into it, let me say that we do not need the same stylistic graphics approach that we see with the official Pokemon.  I'm talking about the CONCEPT of Pokemon.

So, lets get this concept out of your head:

No Pikachu

And for the time being we can replace it with this:

FF11 Ifrit

 

If you like the Pokemon games as is, then ignore that last part.  Point is that the "pokemon" themselves are unimportant to the idea.

 

The core of the idea is as follows:

Capture monsters.

Train Monsters. (Level monsters)

Compete with Monsters. (Pve, PVP, etc.)

 

Design a world around this concept, and possibly use the monsters for more than simply fighting.  And you have an MMO ready to go.

What's the MMORPG.com have to say about this idea? Read on to find out!

Dvalon thinks its a great idea:

It's got legs, for sure, just needs a good developer, if they made it as you say yourself but matured up the art and pokemon designs a bit to make them less of a cartoon then it would deff get people playing it.

I'm bearly 35 and I love pokemon kinda grew up watching it with the kids and playing it on my DS, its a good concept no its a brilliant concept and if people just got over their hangups on it they would realize its a stunning game.

Where it would really shine is the combat, there are a number of things they could do, like.....

1. super smash bro's style combat or street fighter style, throw out your pokeball and then you control you pokemon as you try and kick the other guys ass.

2. use the DS style of turn based combat

3. standard mmo style, when you throw the ball, you take control of the pokemon and fight the enemy pokemon like your mind controlling it so normal mmo combat.

To be honest any one of these combat options would be really cool, and the game would essentially be a full PVP game after all its all about getting those pokemon and collecting those badges so you can take on other players.

StormwindX suggests something similar, based on the Shin Megami Tensei series:

http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/game/368

Shin Megami Tensei IMAGINE seems to be somewhat similar in concept to what the OP suggested, as in... convince demons to join you, train them, summon whichever one suits your present needs, do battle with them. 

Yeah, yeah, it's a Korean game based on a Japanese universe (Which is amazing, by the way. SMT has, along with Final Fantasy, historically helped define the way console RPGs work. If you've never heard of Shin Megami Tensei 3: Nocturne and Digital Devil Saga, you should, as they're easily two of the best RPGs of the last decade), but still... 'capture' demons, train them, summon them, use them. Kinda like Pokémon in hell.

precious328 doesn't feel a Pokemon MMO would reach a broad enough audience:

Pokemon fans, the ones that have grown up, are around 21 years old.

The Pokemon series, IMO, isn't broad enough to become a MMO.

EXAMPLE:

Star Wars has been around for years. It has fans both young and old. Pokemon, however, doesn't really have that many "older fans. It's too kiddy.

So, I've actually mentioned something like this in previous spotlights. I'm not actually a huge fan of the Pokemon series itself, having only played some of the earlier games, but the appeal as an MMO is pretty clear to me. The concept is pretty much tailor made for a massively multiplayer game. A huge world to explore, capture monsters, train them, fight other monsters with your own, fight each other at gyms or other tournaments, etc. Heck, you can even fit crafting in there. Players could craft consumables and even upgrades for creatures. As the first poster I quoted mentioned, the concept has "legs" to be sure!

Now, I wouldn't expect Nintendo to get into the game by doing their own Pokemon MMO, they just aren't really savvy on creating robust online experiences, but there is definitely room for an original IP to come in and run with it.

What are your thoughts on a Pokemon-style MMO? Share 'em in the comments below!