Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Blizzard to develop Pokemon MMO

Blizzard wanted to keep it a secret for an announcement at the next Blizzcon, but their business partner spilled the bean: Nintendo leaked the news deeply hidden in their quarterly report that they sold the license for a "Pokemon MMO" to Blizzard. That fits with Blizzard's earlier statements that their next MMO would not be a WoW2 or be based on any other of their existing brands.

The writing was on the wall, with World of Warcraft becoming increasingly casual-friendly, so we shouldn't really be surprised that Blizzard's next MMO is going for an even more casual (and thus larger) audience than WoW. They probably realized that the competitor's game most likely to be a huge financial success this year is Free Realms, and not any of the more classic MMORPGs. And combining the formula of a kid-friendly virtual world with the addiction of leveling up your trainer and your pokemons could well become a game selling millions. Added advantage: The Pokemon MMO wouldn't canibalize WoW's user base.

I played some of the Pokemon games on Nintendo handheld consoles, and they aren't half bad. I really like the separation of having one trainer and many pokemons. So things like reputation are centralized, and you only have to grind them once per account, but you can easily switch to a different "class" / pokemon for experiencing different roles in combat. Add a nice virtual 3D world, and Blizzard's usual polish, and this could be a game I want to play, in spite of not being a kid any more.
Tobold - you are evil.

Good one....having said would actually be pretty cool, I'd play it for a while.
Pokemon MMO would make millions.
I would play the shit out of that tobold, don't even joke. Blizzard+Pokemon+MMO would be...incredible!
Pokemon MMO would make millions.

Darkfall makes millions. A Blizzard Pokemon MMO would make billions.
Two April Fools jokes in one day? Besides, we already have Hello Kitty Online.
Nice try Tobold!

More about Blizzard's Pokemon MMO:

"April Fools' Day or All Fools' Day, although not a holiday in its own right, is a notable day celebrated in many countries on April 1. The day is marked by the commission of hoaxes and other practical jokes of varying sophistication on friends, family members, enemies, and neighbors, or sending them on fool's errand, the aim of which is to embarrass the gullible. Traditionally, in some countries, the jokes only last until noon: like UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, someone who plays a trick after noon is called an "April Fool". Elsewhere, such as in Ireland, France, and the USA, the jokes last all day."
This reminds me of the sorts of April Fools people do at work, where managers sometimes make fake announcements. And the thing is, they were always announcements about things that everyone secretly wished were true!!!

I would totally play a Pokemon MMO!
Be careful Tobold what you write! If any Blizzard guy reads your blog, he will get an idea, and no one will ever forget who is responsible for that MMO! :-)

BTW I wouldn't be surprised a bit if it would come true.
They might have to increase the game difficulty up from WoW though, I hear Pokemon players like a bit of a challenge.
Would go well with the current Achievement system, though... Remember the slogan?

"Gotta catch them all!"

And the first expansion would add 700 new, extremely rare pokemon's to catch and Arena duels would be formed in a league style spectator sports...

Did play pokemon on the gameboy. Was actually quite a fun game.

Gief mmorpg!
As joystick likes to say about the Wii: It prints money!

This idea would blow away WoW, done right.
I would play that game in a heartbeat, if it were as you say. If using a different pokemon were like playing a different class in WoW, but with all of my progress on those other characters centralized? It's a dream to an altoholic like me. I was completely obsessed with the original games back in high school, and the only reason I'm not obsessed with the current iterations of Pokemon is that I'm too busy playing WoW. If they made a game that was like Pokemon, but also like WoW, you'd never pull me away from my computer.
It's too bad Nintendo's been pretty clear about not wanting to do a Pokemon MMO, because it's really 99% of the way there already. I wish I understood why they were so reticent to make one.
rofl, gotta catch em all..
The ironic thing is alot of people would try a Pokemon MMO. There was a long period of time that Pokemon was sadly the best RPG you could play, for sure on the gameboy. I don't doubt for a second that it would be a profitable product.
Not as crazy as it sounds. Blizzard have worked with Nintendo before.
greatest idea ever, i'm a huge WoW player and an even bigger fan of pokemon. blizzard + pokemon mmo = crazy awesomeness! i would play that game forever, train an awesome team and yeah. but prob blizz will announce something like a starcraft mmo, just watch.
If it's anything like the games it'll be terrible pokemon is much more exploitable then Wow. There will be those people who infinite free time to breed the best pokemon with the best stats and the best natures and they'll be able to grief all the other players.
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