The Nintendo ‘gigaleak’ included plans for a Pokemon MMO from 2004

    
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If you hear what sounds like a thousand dogs sniffing at something this weekend, it’s because there was an apparent massive leak of Nintendo development assets full of source code and other files for a variety of classic games including Star Fox 2, Yoshi’s Island, and Super Mario World. There’s a sprite sheet with Luigi giving the fourth wall the bird. It’s good stuff.

Among these files (and what is more relevant to this site) is a presentation from 2004 that outlines a proposed Pokemon MMO for the Game Boy Advance. The project, which was proposed by the Chinese company iQue Ltd., included online trading, battling, and chat, an online tournament feature that references using code from Pokemon Colosseum, and online Pokemon capturing and treasure hunts. Most of the online features would have used a link cable to connect the GBA to a PC, using the GBA as a controller and the PC as a screen.

The game also included plans for an offline single-player mode with gameplay features from and a story based on FireRed and LeafGreen, while connecting the game to the online server would update which Pokemon are on the map based on the player’s regional IP address, along with a proposed regional “weather concept.” These changes would take effect in offline mode and would only update when the game was connected to the server again.

Finally, the proposal included details of a hatching system which would create an egg based on a number of variables such as the server’s real time clock, recent weather reports, and the birth rate of nearby Pokemon.

We’ve found a video of someone reading the proposal presentation online, though we apologize in advance for the “quality” of this person’s mic. Still, even if you’re an audiophile, this is an interesting peek at what was in the works at the time; you probably should look at it before Nintendo strikes it from the internet.

sources: Eurogamer, Nintendo Everything, YouTube, cheers Schmidt!

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Sarah Cushaway

I’m not a nintendo player at 40, but my daughter sure is. She wants Mario Kart 9 something fierce.

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Dankey Kang

A Pokémon MMO would likely be less profitable for Nintendo. Pokémon, like Mario and Zelda are the flagship titles that Nintendo uses to shift each generation of consoles/handhelds, so they want at least a couple of Pokémon games on each system. A properly done Pokémon MMO would basically make the traditional games irrelevant since it would have more Pokémon, would have better online functionality etc… While this would be better for the players, it wouldn’t be for Nintendo.

Also Japan seems to be a decade behind the rest of the world when it comes to online games (FF14 being a big exception to this) so I’m sure Nintendo would find a way to mess it up bigtime and upset everyone.

Demon of Razgriz
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Demon of Razgriz

I’d actually play a Pokémon MMO especially if it includes all the Pokémon from each series and all the regions. Would be interesting to see if it ever comes to pass.

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Nordavind

Pokemon Go.

Demon of Razgriz
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Demon of Razgriz

Lol. I’d rather play a game that didn’t require me to actually go exploring to “catch them all”. I tried it when it first came out and it wasn’t my cup of tea. Looked and felt weird in the hood in Brooklyn on my phone at night swiping on my phone while not looking extra crazy.

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Nordavind

Daytime. Parks.

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NeoWolf

How the current gen Pokemon Sword and Shield is very MMO like, all it lacks is access to all regions rather than just one (Galarian). That however could pretty easily be expanded.

I don’t think they ever will though as they wouldn’t be able to milk the whole next gen of pokemon games each time to customers formula which is something they have done since the beginning with Pokemon Red, Blue and later Yellow of Gen 1.