The world wants to play Pokemon in an MMOG-inspired setting, but Nintendo just doesn’t want to allow it.
Most Pokéfans with a little bit of vision have probably dreamt up their versions of the definitive Pokémon MMORPG while leveling up their Rattatas, but were you aware that someone was actually developing one? Well, they were, but as reported by Joystiq, Nintendo has unsurprisingly killed the project as of the end of March 2010.
Called Pokénet, the game was nearing a beta release, but already somewhat in operation with 7,000 different players trying the game at some point. The object of the game can easily be surmised by anyone with a passing knowledge of the Pokémon videogames. Collect Pokémon. Pit them against other players’ Pokémon. Repeat. It’s just that in Pokénet, all of the other trainers were real people.
I’m not quite sure what Pokénet‘s developers were thinking, as they reportedly were putting out at least $80 a month to run the game’s servers. Sure, Pokénet was probably a fun side project, but I don’t know how anyone could think they could get away with developing an MMOG using one of Nintendo’s most popular videogame IPs, and additionally one of the most popular videogame IPs of all time. Oh the other hand, “Nushio,” a programmer on the project, told Joystiq that there are many other Pokémon MMOGs out there, and that Nintendo may have picked on Pokénet because it was handing out source code.
Nushio also says that “most of the devs are giving up,” so this game and its code may be entirely dead to the world for good. Nintendo took everything related to Pokénet, including the domain name, so all that remains are YouTube videos and such. If Nintendo really wanted to earn some money, instead of the paltry billions of dollars in profit it brings in now, it would put out its own Pokémon MMOG, as I’m fairly sure a game like that would rival the popularity of World of Warcraft if done properly.