Last night's Pokémon press conference in Tokyo revealed some pretty big news about the future state of Pokémon, with the Pokémon Company revealing not one, not two, but three new Pokémon apps/games to sink your teeth into, the first being Pokémon Sleep. The additional two apps are called Pokémon Masters and Pokémon Home.
Pokémon Masters will be a new mobile game releasing sometime this year though the Pokémon Company has not given a solid release time frame just yet. It did however mention that it will be sharing some additional information about the new game in June, so any fans of the franchise eager to know more will definitely want to keep an ear to the ground.
The Pokémon Company has shared a few key details about Pokémon Masters that may at the very least pique your interest. The first is that the game will be a whole new way to experience Pokémon battling "on the go," with the second being that the game will include tons of famous Pokémon trainers from across the various games in the franchise.
The game is also being touted as an easy game to pick up and play casually as the Pokémon Company states it was optimized for smart devices. What this means exactly isn't entirely clear but it's likely that what's being teased is that it should be easy to play with one hand and that content will be delivered in such a way that gameplay is bite-sized and can be put down at any time essentially, should players have the need to take a sudden break for any reason.
It's also possible that this is referring to the ease of getting to know how the game works so that just about anyone can learn how to master it. What's interesting is that Pokémon Masters will more or less be able to tie into the other app that was announced alongside it called Pokémon Home.
Pokémon Home will be an app that is downloadable on mobile devices, but more than that it will be a cloud service that will act as a hub for storing and trading Pokémon across the many games in the series. This includes Pokémon GO, as well as a number of other games on different platforms like the Switch and 3DS.
The basic goal with Pokémon Home is that players will be able to have one unified platform for storing and trading their Pokémon with friends and other players whether they be local or from halfway around the world. It's also seemingly going to be an eventual replacement for Pokémon Bank, the current cloud service that is offered at a $4.99 monthly premium for essentially the same type of feature.
The improvement being made with Pokémon Home is that it aims to connect storing and trading to all of the most recent Pokémon games as well as any future content down the road, thus giving players a service that will work for this purpose for many years to come.
With these three new apps, as well as Pokémon GO, the Pokémon Company is already on track to dominating your mobile device. Pokémon GO was a worldwide success the minute it was available for download even if the player base has slowed down from those first few weeks of the game's launch, also helping people who may not have been very active improve their exercise rate.
Pokémon GO did well enough on its own to take over mobile devices on a large scale, at least from the gaming perspective, and now that Pokémon Sleep is on the way the Pokémon Company is branching off into a whole new territory in terms of being one of your most used apps.
Smartphones are already wrapped up in much of the day for a wide number of users globally, and what better way for the Pokémon Company to become a staple on mobile even more than it already has by finding ways to incorporate Pokémon into thing people do just about every day: Walking and sleeping.
While it's an outlandish though and more theory crafting than anything, the Pokémon Company could take things even further by introducing other apps and games that tie into every day tasks or activities, offering even more rewards for doing those things by tying them up with Pokémon training.
If this isn't the Pokémon Company's goal, then maybe it should be. Gamifying things is not a new practice, but it is an effective one for those that might often forego things in real life that they don't find entertaining. If there's one thing that can tie everyone together it's entertainment, in whatever form draws the attention.
Entertainment is different for everyone of course, but for many it involves games, or cartoons, or anime or any other number of things, and the Pokémon Company has been hip to this fact for a little while now, in no small part thanks to Niantic who developed Pokémon GO.
With the advent of this game, it has led the Pokémon Company down a path that has allowed it to integrate the Pokémon franchise into multiple real-life areas, and there's no reason that it can't apply this same tactic to other areas too. Helping people get a better night's sleep could be just the beginning.
Imagine a world where you are rewarded with anything from new items in Pokémon GO to exclusive Pokémon in games from the series on other platforms just for doing simple everyday activities that you already engage in, like eating healthier or achieving some of your other non-game related goals.
The notion is certainly a wild one, but there are any number of other things to track that the Pokémon Company could develop apps for that focus on people's lifestyles and could be turned into entertainment.
Wildness aside, such a goal would also require a collection of different projects that could take years to complete, so even if there were plans to turn other daily activities into entertainment the same way that Pokémon GO and Pokémon Sleep are doing, it would be a few years before those things came to fruition.
That said, it would be a cool way for the Pokémon Company to improve quality of life for both people that have been fans of the franchise since its inception as well as future fans and generations that are or will be just getting into it. The Pokémon Company's mission statement even focuses on quality of life, noting that its values aim to "enrich the real world and the virtual world with Pokémon characters."
Such vast, overarching narratives and goals are generally something you would expect from the likes of Marvel Studios and the MCU, but fans probably wouldn't mind if the Pokémon Company had a master plan like this in place.