Producer Dashes Your Pokemon MMO Hopes,
Gamasutra posted an interview with Pokemon producer Junichi Masuda earlier today that shed some light on why Nintendo has yet to embark on the seemingly obvious move to massive multiplayer. “Trading is really the core concept behind the Pokemon games,” he explained, brushing off the idea that a Pokemon MMO would be great for battling, “it’s really the core idea that birthed the Pokemon games, and everything really exists to facilitate trading.”
Although Pokemon Black and White 2 have the most robust online functionality of any Pocket Monster game to date, Masuda downplayed the importance of digital connectivity. “It’s much more enjoyable when you’re talking in person,” he told Christian Nutt, “So I think the best way is to have kind of both at the same time, being able to enjoy this kind of faraway communication, as well as having aspects that allow you to enjoy communication face-to-face and in-person communication.”
Although these comments were only a small part of a much larger interview, they do speak volumes about Nintendo’s careful approach to their core franchises. Pokemon is still largely seen as a kid’s game, and the internet is a dark and scary place. Playing games with friends in person may be more fun, but I can’t help but feel like the real reason Game Freak is so reluctant to make Pokemon Online is that there’s no way for the them to control it. It’s much safer this way.
What do you think? Should Nintendo take a risk and greenlight a Pokemon MMO or is the internet really only good for trading? Let us know in the comments below.