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3DS

Will a New Pokémon Game Show Up at E3 2015?

by Alex Culafi - May 21, 2015, 10:09 am PDT
Total comments: 21

This time, the games are going to be named after theoretical constructs.

As I write this, we’re about a month out from E3 and no Pokémon game of any kind has been announced for 2015 yet. If one is coming, it is (almost) unquestionably going to be announced at or right around the show. It could be announced beforehand (Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire were announced on the morning of May 7 last year), but if there is no game announced at the show, we’re likely not getting Pokémon Z/XZ/YZ/Gamma Z/A this year. So what are the chances?

A Pre-E3 Pokémon Announcement

This year, E3 is being held June 16-18, 2015. Last year, E3 was held June 10-12. Although there is certainly no pattern to the announcements, it’s worth noting that ORAS was announced with the lead of a full month to fully separate it from the show. E3 2015 is held a full week later than last year, and if Pokémon was announced today or tomorrow as of this posting, things wouldn’t be that off-schedule. Although the announcement would likely be dropped as a surprise, I just don’t think that’s the case this time.

Around this time last year, Mario Kart 8 was being pushed the same way Splatoon is now. The Nintendo Direct for Mario Kart 8 happened a week before Pokémon’s announcement, and the Splatoon Direct happened about a week and a half ago (May 7 to be exact!), so the conditions are similar. That is, if you don’t consider reality.

Mario Kart 8 is big enough that it can hold its own on the consumer attention battlefield, even with Nintendo’s handheld golden goose getting an announcement between its hugest pre-release marketing push and its release date. On the other hand, a Pokémon game being announced before Splatoon coming out would eclipse the attention Nintendo is desperately attempting to build for this brand-new EAD franchise. We don’t know exactly how announcements are figured out between The Pokémon Company, Nintendo, and Game Freak, but if there were plans to announce a new Pokémon game now, I bet Nintendo would have pushed to get the reveal moved to E3.

Moreover, it just seems like we would have gotten the announcement by now if it were coming. There’s always room for surprise, but the third version(s) of Pokémon X and Y (or something else) being announced before the show doesn’t seem to make sense.

Chances: Not that high

An E3/Right Around E3 Announcement

Like I said, if a Pokémon game is happening this year, it’s going to be announced by E3. There are two things to consider here, and one of them is a recently revealed piece of evidence.

The first, non-evidence-based piece of evidence is that Pokémon has been getting pretty comfortable with its annualized release schedule (I lay that out better in this article). There isn’t much in the way of enormous 3DS games slated for late 2015 (barring the Animal Crossing spin-off), and at this point, not even the Wii U has anything slated for 2015 on the level of Super Smash Bros. or Mario Kart 8. If not this, than what huge game is Nintendo counting on?

The second, severely more important piece of evidence can be found here at the 2:50 mark:

What you’re looking at is an intended-to-be-confidential tease for an upcoming pre-E3 show (like something Spike TV would put on) shown at a motion graphics conference with a series of names and teases (found by NeoGAF). The way the speaker presented it made it clear that this is something that’s real at least at the conceptual level.

In the teaser, a series of names came up, like Valve’s Gabe Newell, Shigeru Miyamoto, and the name I care about: Satoshi Tajiri – the creator of Pokémon. If this list of names is legitimate and this show is indeed happening with Satoshi Tajiri, we’re getting something massive.

The reason I say this is that Satoshi Tajiri has not been the face of these games for a long time, and barely makes appearances of any kind anymore. He has been listed in a vague Executive Producer role since Diamond and Pearl, and it’s clear that Junichi Masuda has become the new public face and creative force for this franchise. So if Tajiri is making his first major public appearance for one of these games in a long time, it has to be something massive. Pokémon’s 20th anniversary is next year, and a Pokémon Red and Blue 3D Classics/3DS remake of Red and Blue/Wii U remake of Red and Blue/some crazy new third version of X and Y that involves Kanto would be big enough and specific enough to justify it.

Unfortunately, that probably means that we wouldn’t be getting the game this year, but if that tease is real, a Pokémon game will be announced at or around E3. You might ask, “Why wouldn’t Nintendo save that for the Digital Event?” to which I direct you to that time when Nintendo revealed what might be the only gameplay of Zelda Wii U we see for the next year at an unproven awards show. Nintendo wants their wares shown in as many avenues as possible, and putting the reveal here to lead into a massive E3 wouldn’t be so out of character.

This whole thing seems fishy though. Look at this list of guests mentioned in the video:

  • Hideo Kojima
  • Gabe Newell
  • Satoshi Tajiri
  • Michael Morhaime
  • Olivia Munn
  • Masaya Matsuura
  • Sara Underwood
  • Will Wright
  • Shigeru Miyamoto
  • Kevin Pereira
  • Chris Hardwick

World Premieres By:

  • Nintendo
  • Naughty Dog
  • Infinity Ward

What’s Gabe Newell, Michael Morhaime, and Will Wright doing at this show without a World Premiere? Why are Olivia Munn and Kevin Pereira, two people who aren’t hosting it and haven’t been heavy game personalities for a long time, doing here? Better yet, why is Sara Underwood, another ex-Attack of the Show host who is now a career Playboy Playmate, being featured? Why is Infinity Ward getting a World Premiere when their Call of Duty isn’t until next year? Why is Kumail Nanjiani listed as the host in the video but Joel McHale listed in the breakdown?

Until we see an official tease, I’m cautious that some (or all of these) are placeholders. Maybe they just saw a list of games being teased and filled in the blanks (“Oh, Call of Duty? Must be Infinity Ward!”). Maybe the studio made them up. Maybe all of these names are just filled in pre-emptively and some parts are moving around. Or, maybe it’s all real.

On the other hand, a new Pokémon Mystery Dungeon game was just announced for release in the same time period that a normal Pokémon game would be released (AKA the end of this year in North America). Maybe this dashes everything...or maybe it doesn't. If anything, should a new game be announced at the show, it would likely be one for next year.

As of right now, I feel like (read: hope) that Satoshi Tajiri listing came from somewhere more than simply “out of thin air,” and I feel like something is going to be teased for either this year or next. There’s no way to tell due to all of the moving parts, but I feel it.

Chances: Slightly, slightly leaning towards yes

What do you think? Are we getting a Pokémon game announced at this year’s show? Will it come out this year or next? Would it be a third version of X and Y, sequels, or something better?

Images

Talkback

Ian SaneMay 21, 2015

The one thing that could potentially save the Wii U and completely reverse its fortunes is the fully 3D console Pokémon RPG that everyone has wanted since the N64 years.  Do I think Nintendo is actually working on it?  No.  But if there was to be something big to do with Pokémon there could be nothing bigger and Nintendo has never needed to bust out a secret weapon more than they do now.

That'd be cool, but it wouldn't save the Wii U.

Evan_BMay 21, 2015

I think the announcement of Super Mystery Dungeon pretty much negates this article, at least for a release on 3DS.

TOPHATANT123May 21, 2015

Gamecube had not one but two awesome almost-fully-featured 3D Pokemon games and it did nothing for it. I'm sure they could move some units if they put some effort into the marketing, but why bother when you can release it on handhelds and sell 10 million copies overnight?


My bet is Gamefreak is struggling with the woes of 240p development and won't have another main game untill 2016.

pokepal148Spencer Johnson, Contributing WriterMay 21, 2015

IDK both XY and ORAS felt a bit rushed and low on content in several ways so maybe they've decided to take their time on this one.

Ian SaneMay 21, 2015

Quote from: TOPHATANT123

Gamecube had not one but two awesome almost-fully-featured 3D Pokemon games and it did nothing for it. I'm sure they could move some units if they put some effort into the marketing, but why bother when you can release it on handhelds and sell 10 million copies overnight?

Describing the two Gamecube Pokémon games as "awesome" is a very atypical opinion.  Those games did nothing for the Gamecube because those games were not very good and lacked the "gotta catch 'em all" element of the gameplay that makes Pokémon popular in the first place.  What I'm talking about is essentially the same game as the handhelds but on a console with full 3D gameplay like the post-OoT console Zeldas.  Those Cube games were not that.

Though isanolord is probably right in that it wouldn't save the Wii U.  It's a killer app in waiting though and would get Nintendo's next console off to a great start.

TheXenocideMay 21, 2015

Premiere by Naughty Dog? Come on Last of Us 2!

the asylumMay 21, 2015

People are still hoping for a console pokemon mmo?

You're better off hoping for Shenmue III.

I totally think we'll see something, but I don't think it'll be anything big. It might just be a plug for Mystery Dungeon, or we might finally see a bit of Great Detective Pikachu. We haven't gotten a third game in a generation since Platinum almost six years ago, so I don't think we'll see Z. We could see a Kanto remake; it HAS been over ten years since FRLG. I doubt we'll see a new generation, either. The 3DS won't have the same lifespan as the DS, so I think the next gen will be saved for the 4DS or whatever other terrible name we get stuck with.

Triforce HermitMay 22, 2015

No remakes. For all that is holy, please no more remakes.

I suspect that 2016 we will see Gen 7. Otherwise we are just stuck with Super Mystery Dungeon this year which will supposedly have a "darker plot." Can't remember who said it, but one of the developers said he wanted to do more serious stories. I'm not holding my breath.

Console Pokemon isn't ever going to happen unless Microsoft or Sony get a hold of GAMEFreak and Pokemon.

pokepal148Spencer Johnson, Contributing WriterMay 22, 2015

Quote from: Triforce

Otherwise we are just stuck with Super Mystery Dungeon this year which will supposedly have a "darker plot." Can't remember who said it, but one of the developers said he wanted to do more serious stories. I'm not holding my breath.

Have you played PMD? The second game has you set for execution, (by a rather... if you really think about it, gruesome means.)

There is also a point where you're character and his friend contemplate suicide, by which point you have taken up residence upon the top of this charming little hillside. Oh and this whole contemplation is caused by a dream and when you wake up your partner's bed is empty.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/colorslive/jpg_512x512/115918--JjWri8WveSYjMHm.jpg

Oh and theirs the Azurill, who early in the game gets kidnapped by a drowzee, which keep that in mind because later in the game you enlist the help of THAT SAME DROWZEE because our big villain Darkrai decided to put Azurill into an eternal nightmare for the hell of it.

and these aren't isolated cases, THIS STUFF HAPPENS ALL THE TIME IN THAT GAME!

TOPHATANT123May 22, 2015

Grovyle died for our sins.

pokepal148Spencer Johnson, Contributing WriterMay 22, 2015

Also Dialga went primal before it was mainstream.

http://cdn.bulbagarden.net/upload/thumb/8/88/Primal_Dialga_artwork.png/240px-Primal_Dialga_artwork.png

StratosMay 22, 2015

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

That'd be cool, but it wouldn't save the Wii U.

What about Pokemon RPG with amiibo support?!?...nah, the supply constraints would kill any hope of that doing anything great for the system.

Luigi DudeMay 22, 2015

I'd put my money on a Wii U port of Pokken Tournament announced at E3.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EF92j3g1pE


People have to remember this game has only been announced so far for Japanese Arcades.  So a Wii U port for the West at E3 would be a big deal, especially if it has a good sized roster with Amiibo support.

Triforce HermitMay 22, 2015

Quote from: pokepal148

Have you played PMD? The second game has you set for execution, (by a rather... if you really think about it, gruesome means.)

I played Explorers of the Sky. The only story I found actually good and took seriously was the bonus story at the end with Grovyle, Dusknoir, and Celebi. That was excellent and I loved it. The rest of the game was okay, but about on the same level as Pokemon X and Y's story. Maybe I'm hoping for the wrong thing here.

I believe the interview was from Gameinformer. They wanted to add romance to the story. I think it was written before AS/OR.

pokepal148Spencer Johnson, Contributing WriterMay 22, 2015

Quote from: Triforce

Quote from: pokepal148

Have you played PMD? The second game has you set for execution, (by a rather... if you really think about it, gruesome means.)

I believe the interview was from Gameinformer. They wanted to add romance to the story. I think it was written before AS/OR.

I'm actually playing through Pokemon Black for the first time with the female character and I honestly cannot shake the feeling that the only reason that N takes such an interest in your character is out of some sort of infatuation and he just honestly believes that dragging you into a Ferris Wheel or sending his super creepy ninja bodyguards to escort you through parts of a cave are good ways to pick up a girl.

Triforce HermitMay 22, 2015

Quote from: pokepal148

Quote from: Triforce

Quote from: pokepal148

Have you played PMD? The second game has you set for execution, (by a rather... if you really think about it, gruesome means.)

I believe the interview was from Gameinformer. They wanted to add romance to the story. I think it was written before AS/OR.

I'm actually playing through Pokemon Black for the first time with the female character and I honestly cannot shake the feeling that the only reason that N takes such an interest in your character is out of some sort of infatuation and he just honestly believes that dragging you into a Ferris Wheel or sending his super creepy ninja bodyguards to escort you through parts of a cave are good ways to pick up a girl.

"Please notice me senpai!"

ShyGuyMay 22, 2015

No, I don't think so.

PhilPhillip Stortzum, May 23, 2015

It'd be nice to get a retail Pokemon game for the Wii U. Pokemon Rumble U for the eShop not only took away my favorite part of the series, exploring linear dungeons to capture Pokemon, but it has figures that are now impossible to buy without selling a vital bodily organ. I like the idea of Pokken hitting the Wii U. It seemed like an obvious thing to do, but so did Pokemon Snap U...

pokepal148Spencer Johnson, Contributing WriterMay 23, 2015

Just wait for Pokepark 3: Pikachu and the Mysterious Rainbow.

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