Since Pokémon Red & Blue first came out in 1996, it’s incredible that there hasn’t been a single open world MMORPG for fans to enjoy. Sure Pokémon GO functions like a multiplayer experience after a few years of updates and Pokémon festivals, but it’s incredible that the Pokémon equivalent to World Of Warcraft has never been created.
If Game Freak or DeNA were to ever get around to creating an open world MMORPG there would be a lot of appeal that would make it a great game, but there would also be some serious downsides.
10 Would: Explore With Friends
If there’s anything the fanbase has been consistent about, it’s that they want more social interactivity in the Pokémon games. An MMORPG would allow players to join each other on epic quests to catch them all, dominate the leaderboards in a particular region, or hunt down an elusive shiny Pokémon.
Gamers are wanting games that allow them be around their friends and an MMORPG would easily fit the bill and promote more social based gameplay. A romp through the Safari Zone with friends or exploring the Wild Areas and seeing what you find together would be a lot of fun.
9 Wouldn’t: Lots Of Kids
Not to say there’s anything wrong with kids, but a Pokémon MMORPG would obviously be family friendly and as a result bring in a lot of little kids. For mature gamers looking for something that takes itself a little more seriously this could be a big issue.
There’s also the concern that with such an influx of little kids that the developers would start catering to them more and more. Areas considered too scary such as Lavender Town would be toned down, creepy Pokemon would become more tame, the villainous teams would be cheesy rather than a serious threat, and there would be an overload of cute Pokémon costumes, skins, and items.
8 Would: Trading And Breeding
Trading has always been something of an issue in the games requiring game developers to get creative with things like Wonder Trading to fill the void. An MMORPG could make this a lot more interesting as gamers can get together in key locations and trade to their heart’s content.
An entire cottage industry could pop up for gamers to facilitate trades for a price or poach a specific Pokémon for a client. There’s a lot that could be done and being able to create your own breeding and trading operations could be very interesting.
7 Wouldn’t: You’re Nobody
In the singleplayer games you become someone important. The trainer who defeats a villainous organization, the tournament champion, or the only one to ever catch them all. By the end of a singleplayer experience you feel like a legend.
In an MMORPG that all goes away, you’re just another trainer and many players have already achieved the goal you’re striving for. Sure you can still become a legend if you’re dedicated and creative enough, but it’s a lot more effort than most will want to make.
6 Would: PVP
Another issue fans have had with Pokémon games is the lack of emphasis on PVP battles. An MMORPG could facilitate a variety of PVP experiences from tournaments with different rules, region specific competitions, or just in the wild battles.
A really interesting idea would be to allow players to step into criminal roles and act as members of the villainous teams. These types of gamers could attack other players in Pokémon fights to not only take some of their cash but items as well. The mechanics for this already exists in the games, just not on a PVP multiplayer level.
5 Wouldn’t: Legendaries
Legendaries are awesome because there are typically only one in existence. There’s only one Ho-Oh, one Mewtwo, one Giratina and so on. This would be a problem in an MMORPG when they’re often the most popular Pokémon in the games.
Game Freak would either have to make legendaries like every other Pokémon so everyone could have their own and minimize how cool they are. Or commit to only one instance of each existing but have it on a timer. For instance, Mewtwo would only be in your possession for a week or so before escaping back into the wild to be caught by someone else. Either way would be lame.
4 Would: Regions
It would be awesome to have every region ever made in the same shared universe. Players could travel to different regions to catch different Pokémon, participate in region specific tournaments, or just haunt their favorite areas.
With eight regions with their own unique Pokémon and different cultures it would be fascinating to explore and wander this rich world. You could take up residence in your favorite areas and become a gym leader or set up some kind of business or you could live a nomadic existence on the road going wherever you wish.
3 Wouldn’t: Team Metas
It’s common in most MMORPGs for players to gravitate to whatever the popular meta is at the time to ensure they win battles. As a result it’s likely that every PVP experience is going to be against the same team setups, over and over again.
The reason the Pokémon world in the singleplayer games is so dynamic and interesting is because the NPCs build their teams around what they think are cool and interesting Pokémon. But after fighting yet another player who also has Garchomp, Mega Rayquaza, Mewtwo X, or Arceus the MMORPG would get really bland and very boring.
2 Would: All 800+ In One Game
This would probably be the biggest draw to an open world MMORPG for Pokémon. Being able to encounter all 800+ Pokémon that have been created and theoretically having them all in your Pokedex would be phenomenal.
Some of the games have gotten close such as Pokémon Ultra Sun & Moon, but even they required you to transfer over Pokémon as you couldn’t find them in-game. Having a single game with all regions and all region specific Pokémon would be incredible.
1 Wouldn’t: Lots Of Microtransactions
It’s no secret that the Pokémon franchise is interested in having more microtransactions in their games. Honestly if the MMORPG was free then all the power to them, but the concern would be what would be part of the microtransactions.
Real-life prices on upper tier Pokeballs? An energy system dictating how far you can walk each day without paying? Subscriptions to access breeding options? Paying extra if you want to store more than 50 Pokémon? There are a lot of things that could be microtransactioned in a game like this and there’s no telling what would come with a price tag on it. Charging for in-game Pikachu hoodies is tolerable, but charging to access Hoenn? Not so much.