Pokemon

Huge Nintendo leak reveals scrapped Pokemon MMO

by Brent Koepp

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A massive leak of Nintendo data revealed that a Pokemon MMO game was being considered for PC in 2004. The scrapped online project was based on the popular Fire Red and Leaf Green titles.

Ever since the popular RPG made its debut on the Game Boy in 1996, players from around the world have dreamed of an MMO Pokemon game. An online interactive version of Kanto or Hoenn would be a dream come true.

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However a major leak of Nintendo data on July 24 revealed that a project like that was almost a reality. The scrapped plans would have brought the franchise to PC, and connected users' Game Boy Advance consoles.

pokemon fire red leaf green promo art
The Pokemon Company
The 2004 Game Boy Advance titles could have been part of an MMO.

Scrapped Pokemon MMO revealed

On July 24, a massive leak of Nintendo data made its way online, where a variety of cancelled games and proposed projects were discovered. One of those was an online Pokemon game that would have been made for PC in 2004.

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Outlet 'Centro Pokemon' uploaded slides to Twitter for the cancelled project, and revealed the release was being worked on by iQue. Interestingly, the game would have required players to hook up their GBA consoles to their PC to use it as a controller.

The MMO-like release would have allowed Trainers to connect with other players online to trade, battle, and chat, as well as compete in tournaments. It also would have included an offline mode which could played on the GBA.

Other features from the proposed project include:

  • Game story and map design based on Fire Red and Leaf Green
  • Offline play on the GBA
  • Online play with trade, battle, and chat
  • In offline mode, players could only access 36 Pokemon, new hatch system disabled
  • New hatch system, which uses server info such as date, time, and weather to determine the Egg you get
  • Enhanced Pokemon Center
  • Pokemon distributed on the map changes each time you go online, based on server data such as weather, time, region, and season.
  • Online tournaments based on Colosseum that use 3D renders of monsters
  • Weather changes based specifically on the region

pokemon sword shield players standing by raid den
Game Freak / Nintendo
Many of the features of the MMO project have been implemented in the 2019 release Sword & Shield.

While the concept of connecting a GBA as a controller for the PC may sound outdated today, a lot of the ideas proposed in the online project were incredibly ahead of their time. Many of the features sound extremely similar to what we have today in Sword & Shield.

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For instance, the Switch release lets you connect online with other players in the Wild Area where you can trade and take on Raid Battles together. The Gen VIII game also has weather changes based on your internet connection and clock. Still, one can't help but wonder what could have been if we had gotten a proper MMO.