When Nintendo announced Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee, it also announced a surprise game called Pokemon Quest. The game offers the core mechanics of the Pokemon franchise (exploring, battling, and befriending Pokemon) but it has a delightful, blocky appearance. The game is also free-to-start, rather than the premium price points of the core Pokemon titles.
After being released on Nintendo Switch last month, the iOS and Android release date for Pokemon Quest has now been announced. Pre-order listings reveal that the game will be available next week, on June 27. Fans on mobile devices can also pre-register for the game through the Google Play and App Store marketplaces in order to receive a notification as soon as the game is available to download in their region.
The game has the potential to be a huge success on mobile devices. First and foremost, Pokemon Quest provides an entertaining stopgap between now and the release of Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee. The game has already garnered more than two million downloads on Nintendo Switch (one million of which came within two days of release) based on this point and it could do similar numbers on mobile platforms.
There's also the fact that Pokemon Quest would be the closest thing to an official, traditional Pokemon experience on mobile devices. While Pokemon GO has made more than a billion dollars on iOS and Android, drawing in more than 500 million players, it's quite a bit different from the series' core RPGs. For mobile gamers who don't plan on buying a Nintendo Switch any time soon or cannot afford to get the console at the moment, Pokemon Quest will seem like the next best thing.
However, the number of downloads or even the money it makes from the game's microtransactions will not be a measure of the game's success for Nintendo, which owns a third of (Pokemon Quest developer) The Pokemon Company. By releasing Pokemon games on non-Nintendo platforms, it's a great way to get in front of gamers who perhaps haven't owned or haven't considered buying a Nintendo platform before. Pokemon Quest is also a good way for those unfamiliar with the Pokemon brand to get acquainted with the franchise or to see what it's all about beyond Pokemon GO.
Super Mario Run may have had disappointing revenue and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp may have been heavily criticized but these games did help to get Nintendo franchises in front of new players. These games and Pokemon Quest could bring people into the Nintendo fold so that even if they don't want or cannot afford a Nintendo Switch right now, the mobile titles may make them reconsider.
Pokemon Quest is available now on Nintendo Switch. It will be available on Android and iOS devices on June 28.