People would think that the highest-grossing media franchise of all time would be Disney, Marvel, or even Star Wars. However, it could not be more different.
The highest-grossing media franchise of all time is Pokemon.
That’s right. Daniel Craig may be the highest paid actor of 2023 according to slingo.com, but Pikachu is the highest paid mouse in the world, not Mickey.
Pokemon has successfully made around $1.5 billion just from their movies alone. This doesn’t include the games, TV shows, and tons and tons of merchandise. Pokemon started off being a game and was able to spread like wildfire across all business streams and has gained popularity across the globe.
An illustrator named Satoshi Tajiri started by creating a video game magazine, then decided to make his own video games. And then, the first ever Pokemon game was born, it was titled: Pocket Monsters. Pocket Monsters was picked up by Nintendo and two versions of the game were released in Japan in 1996: The Red Version and the Green Version. These games were mainly played on the Gameboy. Players would capture Pokemon, which is a short-term for Pocket Monsters and they can battle each other, trade, collect, and complete the PokeDex (A device in which players keep track of the Pokemon they have already captured).
This game skyrocketed to sell millions and millions of copies and eventually debuted in the US. After a successful release and over the course of time, Pokemon would be so popular that it had a very successful run, spanning several sequels despite the very simple and repetitive nature of the game.
As technology advanced further and further and gaming consoles became more advanced than ever, people have learned to create emulators of the GAMEBOY, GAMEBOY ADVANCE, NINTENDO DS, and the like. An emulator is software or hardware that emulates a video game console wherein ROM or ISO files are being read by a computer making it possible to play the game outside of the console it was supposed to be played in. For example, gamers can now play Pokemon on a PC or a phone instead of just being able to play it on a Gameboy or on a console. Aside from this, gamers would also be able to alter the game, use cheats, load and save anywhere, and in some cases even create whole new games entirely.
What is PokeMMO?
Fast forward to today, a group of gamers decided to create an MMORPG that would let players play together across 5 generations of Pokemon Games. Jumping from region to region and creating a network around it using an emulator to connect all 5 games and create an economy and community around pokemon.
The original pokemon on consoles never really dived into an interaction that much. Pokemon was very much self-contained and limited to trading pokemon through a cable from one player to another. But with PokeMMO, all the limitations were blurred.
PokeMMO is also very easy to download and play. It has all the great things about the original games, but it interconnected the first five regions to create an entirely better game. Players can customize everything, down to the player’s appearance, where the player can start his or her pokemon journey, earn in-game currency, collect and trade pokemon across all regions, and even use pokemon that are not originally from a particular region in other regions.
Everything about this game is online, when playing the game, players can see other players on the map and can interact with anyone that is playing. Factions can also be created, creating a sense of brotherhood amongst players. New skins and outfits get released every once in a while and it just feels like what pokemon is supposed to be.
A feature that is also not in the original games is accessing a marketplace wherein the player can buy virtually any item or Pokemon for the right price at any time. With the right amount of effort and grinding, a player can definitely be the very best like no one ever was.
The game is well thought out, it has safeguards that prevent players from overleveling. Players can only reach a certain level unless they have the right amount of gym badges, making it a more balanced ecosystem.
Another thing that is so great in the game is that there is only one of each legendary Pokemon in the game. Legendary Pokemon are a group of incredibly rare and incredibly powerful pokemon. There is normally only one legendary pokemon in each game and PokeMMO did their job to make sure that there is only one of each in the entire PokeMMO ecosystem. Making it like a trophy for players who put in the work to become the strongest trainers in the game.
Cheating is not allowed in this game, however, one aspect of emulation is possible here: MODDING. Since PokeMMO can be played on a computer or on a phone, there are people who create Pokemon sprites to make it similar to other games as well. Like creating sprites that are similar to Pokemon Go or Pokemon Shield, or even older games like Pokemon Fire Red. Even the cries of Pokemon from the anime can be used in the game as well.
Aside from all this new stuff brought in, it also has a messenger feature that players can use to contact and communicate with other players in the games. This has never been done in Pokemon games before, and communicating with other players in the game definitely helps in building relationships. Players can even attach certain items to messages, even pokemon can be sent to other players as gifts.
The best part of this game is making friends along the way. There are players from all around the world playing this game at the same time, there are several servers wherein players can hang out on the same place, and there are even tournaments that are being hosted within the game itself. Overall, the game feels like what pokemon is supposed to be, and it makes us wonder when Nintendo would be able to make something remotely similar to this.