Pokémon is still evolving, but the next evolution of the beloved franchise is even more impressive than Charmeleon’s transformation into Charizard. (Good… almost.) Pokemon Scarlet and Purple – which kick off the ninth generation of Pokémon games, out today on Nintendo Switch – mark some of the biggest changes to the format in 26 years.
Build from the “wild areas” of 2019 Sword and Shield and January’s sprawling action-adventure Pokemon Legends: Arceus spin off, Scarlet and Purple Embrace open-world gameplay like never before with three scenarios fans can tackle in any order. Other new features like terastallization – which allows Pokemon to change type mid-battle – add new layers of strategy to the classic turn-based battle system.
But what comes next? How far can Pokémon reinvent and reinvent its properties – video games, but also its TV series, movies, merchandise and trading card game – to surprise and delight fans who grew up with Ash and Pikachu? ?
Discover, Reverse sat down with five people whose lives and careers are intertwined with the Pokémon community to find out, in their own words, what they want to see in the future. Whether it’s a streamer, a competitive fighter, or even the longtime voice of Ash Ketchum, they’re all unique experts who want to see the franchise become the best – like no one else has. never been.
1. A truly open world
I want the future to surprise me. Some of the best moments with Pokémon are when they deviate from what the fanbase expects of them. All the time, people try to cite established patterns, essentially calling it a continuous cycle of “new game, remake, new game, remake”. But [Pokémon developer] Game Freak has shaken things up in recent years by bringing lots of new features, as we saw with Pokemon Legends: Arceus and, to some extent, Pokemon Scarlet and Purple, where we finally left for an open world.
“The Pokémon fan base keeps growing.”
Personally, I’ve always been hesitant, but the way they go about it is interesting. I wonder if – and in some ways I hope – they will go even further from this in the future. Are they going to make it completely open, where not only can you take different paths at will, but you can do them in any order you want, like doing gyms in any order and really evolving it?
The Pokémon fan base continues to grow. More and more, we not only have kids playing Pokémon games, but also people who played when they were younger and are still playing. This is something I see in Serebii demographics. Before, it was mainly 13-24 year olds who used the site, but now it’s bigger, with a big reach in the 24-39 age group as well. I’m sure it’s something happening franchise-wide and not just related to my own experiences. I think we’re going to see them reach out to an older audience, especially with some quality adult-oriented products that hit the Pokémon Center. [stores] for some time.
2. More remakes
Daniel Dockeryauthor of the book Monster Kids: How Pokémon taught a generation to catch ’em all, which tells the story of how Pokémon – and later Digimon, Cardcaptors, and Yu-Gi-Oh! – has become so popular and influential.
Pokémon is a series of games built around discovery. It’s so inherent in its concept that it even makes 26-year-old games fascinating, because of all the ways it gets you to investigate yourself.
I don’t necessarily need a bigger or more complicated open world, but I do want a world that lends itself to a very personally satisfying sense of discovery. I don’t care if I have one Red Dead Redemption 2 Where SkyrimWorld-sized Pokémon, I just want one that, as a player, is fun to explore and leaves me with a sense of accomplished growth the more I do. It’s something that Pokémon, at its best, has always been very good at.
With Scarlet and Purple, they’re building in this multiplayer aspect where you and a few friends can roam around this world, and I think that’s really good. I’m a very old Pokemon fan, so it will take some getting used to. But as long as they keep finding new ways to explore the worlds they create – even though I’m not necessarily a fan of multiplayer stuff – I’d like to see that.
“I don’t care if I have a Red Dead Redemption 2 Where Skyrim-pokemon sized pokemon world.
I no longer need Pokemon remakes for games. I’m pretty good at it, though I wouldn’t mind if they made the old game more widely available to play. But I’d love to see more extremely lavish pieces of animated web series that are so accessible yet so distinct in their layers of references – they almost feel like a gift to longtime Pokemon fans.
Pokemon origins series they did a few years ago, for example, was basically about the Red/Blue/Green drawn with some details of X and Yes, which had just been released. In the early days of Pokémon, you had to imagine in your head what the Pokémon world was really like. It doesn’t necessarily make me feel like a kid again, but it does wake up that weird part of my brain that’s like, “Oh, I would have imagined it was like that.”
Pokémon is so nostalgia-driven, so I love anything that imbues the world with that sense of life where the details of the game have exploded in the biggest way.
3. Pokémon in virtual reality
Dani Sanchez, aka SuperDuperDaniYouTube streamer with over 150,000 subscribers who focuses on Pokémon video games and trading cards.
Pokémon has been able to integrate its products into so many different mediums: anime, video games, manga, trading card game (TCG). People already know what Pokemon is, so they can take it any direction they want.
I know a lot of TCG stuff will end up being influenced by the games. The next era of trading cards will be Scarlet and Purple [themed]. But I’d like to see games incorporate the cards – even if it was a gimmick, like the trainer could collect Pokemon cards or trade cards with other opponents.
Pokemon games have such a good formula with their original RPG. They have the regular video games on consoles, they have the AR games like Pokemon Go. I would love to see them grow in VR and create a real Pokemon world in VR. Can you imagine playing Pokémon in a Pokémon world? Literally throwing Pokéballs and catching Pokémon in first person? That would be crazy! If we’re advancing the technology, that’s the one area I think it would be absolutely crazy to dive into.
4. More stability for games
Christopher Monsanto, aka Chaos, founder of Smogon.coma resource for competitive Pokémon battles that allows fans to hone their skills and play against each other using highly balanced rules and online simulators.
As a community that builds different ways to play around the base game [e.g., only using unevolved Pokémon, or Red and Blue rules], it would be nice if each generation was more stable. Downloadable content (DLC) has been a persistent problem because it changes the metagame so quickly and so often. It introduces new Pokémon, and it has complex interactions with Pokémon that already exist. Writing guides and producing formats takes time and is an iterative process. From our point of view, it is better that the foundation remains stable.
We are better able to deal with the DLC now that we have a generation of experience working with it, but the general mood amongst the Smogon staff writing these guides to hear that Gen IX is another generation of DLC was “Not that yet…” I hesitate to say no to After Pokémon – the changes are great because they prevent the game from becoming stale. I just want a way to make it a little easier to manage.
“I hesitate to say no to After Pokemon.”
I don’t know of any specific mechanics that I would like to see in the future. We work with everything they give us – constraints breed creativity. I don’t necessarily want Mega Evolutions come back, but they were more fun to play in our formats. Dynamax ended up being banned from our formats, which was the first time we’ve banned a build-defining mechanism – which I wasn’t happy about – but the community seems adamant that the mechanism wasn’t appropriate for 6v6 competitive singles. I hope that, for this new generation, we will keep its unique mechanics.
I don’t have as much interest in anime/manga or in-game experience as I do in playing the game competitively. But hopefully these additional properties will be interesting enough to keep interest in Pokémon high – the more activity we have around the franchise, the better.
5. Ash, Forever
Sarah Natochennywho voiced Ash Ketchum in the Pokémon anime since 2006.
I want Pokemon to be relevant over multiple centuries. I see no end to a franchise that is constantly creating new worlds and characters that Ash and the game’s trainers can interact with. Ash needs to exist so the next generation can grow up with the same protagonist we grew up with. I personally believe that’s why he doesn’t age – he’s there for all of us, as a familiar, grounded figure. I feel the same way about Ash’s Pikachu. For my part, I hope I’m right! I want an endless Pokémon universe, and I want Ash to be there for every child looking for a tenacious, loving role model.
“I want to see 90 year olds playing the Pokemon Trading Card Game”
Video games will probably be the most interesting evolution, considering all the emerging technologies. We’ve all seen Pokémon at the forefront of augmented reality when they teamed up with Niantic to create Pokemon Go. Beyond that, the Pokémon World Championships turn stars into dedicated gamers every year, and streaming video games have never been more popular.
I want the world of Pokémon to be ever more collaborative and forward-thinking. I want to see 90-year-olds play the Pokemon Trading Card Game professionally in my lifetime too. Can you imagine how many expansions they would have to master? How will this knowledge affect strategy and gameplay? A thing of beauty.
Pokemon Scarlet and Purple is now available for Nintendo Switch.