Boss Rush Banter: Should Pokémon Drop Dual Releases?

The latest entry in the iconic monster catching franchise, Pokémon Legends: Arceus, has proven to be a monumental success. Recently, Nintendo of America announced on their Twitter account that the game has already sold more than 6.5 million copies in just one week, making it one of the fastest selling Switch titles ever behind Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

The latest Pokémon adventure features many diversions from series convention, including a larger open-world to explore, new agile and strong combat styles, and a setting that puts players into the past.

One notable difference from most other releases is that this is a standalone release, meaning that it didn’t come out with a companion game alongside it. This has been a practice dating back to the very first Pokémon games in 1996 with Red & Green in Japan (Red & Blue localized in 1998). Since then, the franchise has continuously released dual games with very few exceptions.

This sales tactic was started as a way to force players to socialize with one another due to having different monsters in each game. Players had to trade with a gamer with an opposing copy if they wanted to “catch ’em all.”

The dual titles also made the games a little more mysterious back in the day when game details weren’t so easily leaked online. The thought that my friend had a different copy of the game with creatures that didn’t appear in mine was fascinating to me as a kid, and it made me want to see all the things that he discovered on his adventures, and share my own as well.

Used to, players would have to be in close proximity and connect their Game Boy consoles via the Game Link Cable if they wanted to battle or trade their pocket monsters.

Times have certainly changed since the late nineties, however. With wireless internet, gamers can trade and battle players all over the world with relative ease, and the secrets to catching, evolving, and battling all Pokémon in each version can be found with a simple web search.

While Pokémon Legends: Arceus certainly enjoyed positive sales due to its novelty, the game may be an example that dual releases are wholly unnecessary. Although having two titles release onto store shelves on the same day may statistically mean Nintendo has a better chance to turning a profit, Pokémon Legends: Arceus has single handedly sold more copies within a week than all other Pokémon Switch releases, such as Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee, Pokemon Sword/Shield, and Pokemon Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl.

Having more than one game also costs more money for Nintendo. Even though it was revealed that copies of Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl had the exact same content on each of their discs, Nintendo still has to create a separate game cart, box art, and more for each individual game. Streamlining them into a single adventure could be the best thing for both Nintendo and consumers moving forward.

To continue promoting the socializing aspect, developer Game Freak could increase the rarity of many of its pocket monsters, include branching paths, offer incentives for battling and trading with other players, host limited in-game events, and much more. Socialization does not need to rely on more than one game on the market at a time.

In the meantime, if you haven’t already, check out our first impressions of Pokémon Legends: Arceus, and let us know your opinion of the game as well.

What do you think? Would you like to see dual games be replaced with a single adventure moving forward? What other new ideas would you like to see future Pokémon games adopt from Pokémon Legends: Arceus? We’d love to know what you have to say, so sound off on our Facebook and Discord pages!

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Source: Gamer Cafe

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