The Pokémon franchise could add a myriad of live service gameplay features to new games that would enhance the product and change its future.
The Pokémon franchise has continued to offer standalone titles with few post-launch updates, and while this formula has continued to see success with the release of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, some MMO features could benefit the next game. Pokémon has started to include more fluid gameplay and events in recent titles, with a great example being the special Tera Raids that will pop up for a week or two and then leave. These inclusions gave the game some shake-up after initial completion and gave players a reason to come back after launch.
The most recent game, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, included many new firsts for the franchise. Features like different storylines that can be completed in any order, and completely free-roaming Pokémon, both of which will likely become staples to the series in the future. Though the game did suffer from a rocky launch, these features proved to be successful additions to Game Freak’s Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. However, much could be added and improved to further the massive success of the Pokémon franchise.
What Live Service & MMO Features Could Enhance Pokémon
A handful of live service additions seen in games like MMOs could enhance Pokémon, starting with changes to gyms. The first idea here is rotating gym teams so that a Gym Leader would get a different team weekly. Rotating gyms is the other option, which Pokémon Sword and Shield had something similar to as other Gym Leaders who were out of rotation were in the game. Other ideas for live-service gameplay features include daily Pokémon catch quests and Evil Team takedown events. These would award similar loot to Tera Raids but could be diversified based on which activity the player was doing and be inspired by MMO dailies.
A Pokémon MMO Game Could Be Even Better Than Scarlet & Violet
The most significant and impactful live service feature is how gyms could be changed. Though it would be more work, having one Gym Leader for every type in Pokémon all in the same region would be a fantastic experience. This, coupled with rotating gym teams, would add great variety to a Pokémon MMO. Along with giving people a reason to play, the rewards would be a great gift to help trainers, new and old, power up their Pokémon.
Pokémon catch quests would task players with catching a certain Pokémon with specific requirements. These could be a particular number, size, or even a Shiny version. Evil Team takedown events would involve the Evil Team of the generation taking over a specific area of the map. The player would then have to go to that area and free it from the Evil Team’s control.
These features would not fix the fundamental problems Pokémon has, but they would add more content to the game. The concept of a Pokémon MMO sounds exciting and could be even better than Scarlet and Violet. For some, after the initial playthrough of a game is completed, there is not much to do if Pokédex completion or Pokémon‘s easier Shiny hunting isn’t of interest. Live service elements would ensure a greater shelf life for a new Pokémon game, and provide greater value for players.
Source: Nintendo Unity/YouTube