File this one under: “Oh my god, if this ever happens we’re all as good as dead.”
This idea was born out of a discussion I shared with an old co-worker who just landed a gig as a Community Manager for a company that makes Facebook games. Amidst all of my congratulations and the discussion that surrounded them, we both had a Doc Brown-falls-from-the-toilet moment and saw this beauty of an idea smack us square on the noggin’.
The best part about this? It could make Nintendo even more profitable.
Put Pokémon on Facebook. Strip it down to its basic elements: collecting, leveling, trading and battling. Make it free to play and load it up with microtransactions. Instant profit.
Depending upon your age, you may or may not remember a time when Pokémon practically ruined your grade school potential. You sat in the back of class with either your Gameboy or the trading card game, and you tried your damndest to catch them all. You couldn’t stop. You tried, sure, but you simply couldn’t put the game down. Despite the simple premise, the easy basic gameplay and the way-too-adorable characters, you found yourself constantly knee deep in Pokémon Trainer adventure.
Let’s take that basic fuel for addiction, something even contemporary Pokémon games still have a strong mastery of, and add social media and interaction to the equation. Now let’s make it possible for you to trade with and battle both strangers and friends you haven’t seen since high school. It’s quite probable that these are the same people responsible for having your Pokémon confiscated once upon a time.
Nintendo will probably never come close to doing this. It seems so far out of their wheelhouse. Face it, the company isn’t exactly known for embracing the world of gaming online. But, good gravy, if they did decide to delegate a small staff to running this itteration of Pokémon… yeesh.
Consider the potential for microtransactions here. The same friend that I was talking to when this idea came about explained to me that the stat flying around Facebook game makers is that they earn profit on about 10% of their players. That 10% consists of people that regularly purchase content for their games. I’d be willing to wager that a Pokémon title might attract a larger body of content buyers.
What if Nintendo decided to give players a free, basic set of tools capable of conquering Pokémon for Facebook? But then, much like EA does with their sports titles nowadays, allow players to pay around a buck for some bonus goods or cheating content. Rare Candy? 5 for a dollar. Masterballs? 10 for 2 dollars. Get the gist? Are these components necessary to play the game? No, absolutely not. But I guarantee folks will look towards these items as they try to better their collection for battle.
I recognize that the machine I have just hinted at is entirely capable of bringing our age group to its knees. Consider the amount of time you waste on games you don’t have an unyielding love for. It's like that, only Pokémon.
We'd be ruined.