Pokemon joins Call of Duty and Madden as annual franchises, why that isn’t a bad thing
You’ve heard the news about Pokemon X and Y coming to Nintendo 3DS this October. Its good news for both gamers and Nintendo. Nintendo needs a main Pokemon RPG to sell the 3DS hardware in the west, and gamers have wanted a full 3D overhaul of the series for years now.
But the reveal and release date of Pokemon X/Y isn’t the only unique thing about this news today. The main Pokemon RPG series has officially joined the ranks of Madden and Call of Duty as annual game releases.
Series like Madden NFL and Call of Duty often get flack for not changing enough between installments, and this new Pokemon game certainly looks like it is changing a lot based on visuals alone. Yet we still can’t ignore that Nintendo has turned our beloved monster-catching franchise into an annual release.
Pokemon Platinum released in March 2009 in the US, followed by HeartGold and SoulSilver in Spring 2010. Then Black and White hit store shelves in Spring 2011. At this point we should have known that Pokemon was becoming an annual release but we figured GameFreak was just burning themselves out and would eventually quiet down as they prepared a 3DS Pokemon game.
This wasn’t the case as Pokemon Black 2 and White 2 released last year in 2012. With the announcement of X/Y releasing this October that makes five straight years we’ve had a Pokemon RPG released. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if we saw a third rendition of Pokemon X/Y in Fall 2014 like Pokemon Platinum, Emerald, etc.
Are you against this? Certainly X/Y is bringing a slew of changes with it so its hard to give Nintendo flack for making Pokemon an annual franchise now. I don’t see this as a bad thing right now. If Nintendo somehow keeps releasing new Pokemon RPGs each year after the release of X/Y then maybe it will start to wear on me. I can already smell remakes of Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire on 3DS in 2014.
As is X/Y look too different and take such a huge step forward for the franchise that I ignore this awkward trend of annual releases for the time being. Though I can hear the Pokemon’13, Pokemon’14, Pokemon’15 jokes now.
I can’t wait to get my hands on the game, but I can no longer deny that Pokemon has joined the ranks of Call of Duty and Madden as annual releases that I will come to expect in the future.