It’s been a good week for the alternate reality game genre: Aside from Ingress, most of the ARGs on mobile are teeny-tiny, and even writing about Ingress is met with confusion from most gamers. Pokemon Go is putting the ARG on the map in a much bigger way (pun intended), especially when it flirts with mainstream media (although not necessarily for reasons Nintendo or the police or really anyone will be happy about).
Pokemon has never really been my thing, but all the hype has made me wonder how the IP might work in an MMORPG proper rather than an ARG. MMOs have long abused the “gotta catch ’em all” spirit when it comes to everything from gear to achievements — never mind minipet collection and battle — so it should be a natural fit, right?
Apparently so, because a quick trip to Google shows there are literally dozens of fan-made Pokemon MMOs already online. I don’t think any of them is officially sanctioned, and some of them are of dubious quality, but clearly there’s excessive demand for this. So Pokemon masters, you tell me: How would you design a Pokemon MMORPG? How would it work, and what would it need to have to be true to the IP and the genre — other than, you know, a legal license? Or is the ARG the more natural genre?
(Thanks to BalsBigBrother, Nordavind, and Kanbe for the tips!)