Even long before Pokémon GO, rival games companies looked on enviously at the Pokémon franchise and wanted to get a slice of the action for themselves. Who can forget Invizimals on the Sony PSP? OK, bad example!
Australian indie developer Nic Watt, from Nnooo which has published multiple Nintendo eShop titles, recently revealed on the GameHugs podcast that his former employer - EA - was actually working on its own Pokémon killer during the DS era, but it ultimately came to nothing. Here's what he had to say:
Working with EA was a completely different experience [to working with a small studio] as we had the longest prototyping period I've had for any game I've worked on: it was amazing. EA wanted this game where the idea [was] it was going to be their Pokémon game. They didn't have an RPG in the handheld space and they really wanted one. We did a lot of paper-based prototyping for the battle mechanics and even made a whole card game. Then we got the people from Criterion - who worked on Burnout and with the studio - in [to test it]. That's the good thing when you have a company of 300 people, you can just ask "do you guys want to come in and play our game for the afternoon." The team did find it hard because the prototyping was so long, and a lot of things got reset from time to time. But by the time I left, it still had not hit full production and I know that was really tough for a lot of people.
It's interesting to think what a Pokémon competitor from EA might have looked like. When we think of EA these days, we tend to associate it with shooters and sports games, but it does have form for making more family friendly games in the shape of The Sims, among others. With the talented folks at Criterion road-testing the game, who knows how it might have turned out if it went into full production.
As always, let us know your thoughts on these Pokémon-beating revelations with a comment below.
Thanks to all that sent this in.
[source gamehugs.com, via finder.com.au]
Well, it fits EA's money-chasing nature. But, what with it being EA, I wonder if it had some weird hyper-realistic overly-grim gimmick to it in order for said ripoff franchise to pick up steam on rival consoles (heh heh... "pick up steam on consoles"...).
"In a world torn apart by nuclear war, animals are given prosthetic implants to survive. These cybernetic organs have also a fighting potential, which is exploited by ruthless 'trainers' and adrenaline junkies alike, who engage in illegal dogfights as a distraction from the dystopian reality they live in. This is not a world for humans. It's no longer fit for humanity. This... is the world... of CYNIMALS(R)!"
What would it have looked like well, a game that only has half the content available with the rest locked on the disc/cart and only available through overpriced micro transactions
unless you buy the £120 ultimate addition where you get fantastic extra content such as early access to a legendary creature and an alternate colour for your characters shirt
and of course lets not forget the season pass where you get extra missions and towns to visit
@FullbringIchigo o bb a triple
This is good, competition will make Pokemon evolve (hah) to even better games.
Wouldn't work, with each sequel they'd cut back on EAmon. By their third generation, more than half of their EAmon will have disappeared.
Because the best games are always made by trying to copy something that is already successful in that area.
Crash Team Racing, on the PS1, was [expletive]ing awesome.
@AlexSora89 You're right. We don't have to even have to stray too far from Pokemon. Many people like Yokai Watch, which is also a mon game aimed at kids. But... I can see how that style of game naturally fits the Level 5 style. There are enough differences from Pokemon. They also had some monster battling elements in Ni no Kuni and that worked well. Similarly, the Crash characters also lend themselves well to a crazy cart racing game.
I just think you can make a better game by doing your own thing and just looking at similar things for inspiration, instead of cynically trying to copy them because of what's popular and is currently making money. I don't think Crash Team Racing was supposed to be a "Mario Kart killer".
We did see it. Zubo was meant to be the Pokémon competitor.
Digimon was the only one which really made traction as a rival.
Maybe even Monster Rancher on a lower scale.
Even then it was pale in comparison to Pokemon's success.
Some things just can't be imitated to the same success.
Pokemon just came at the right time, everything fell into place, and the rest is history.
HeyHoMon - You search the streets of NYC trying to capture punk rockers and preserve them in CBGBs for posterity.
Followed up by HeyHoMon 2 London: The Adventures of Sid and Nancy
It would have tanked.
Is there something wrong with my eyes or has everything gone Slimer green??
I'm feeling simple today, PokEAmon is good nameplay on the franchises
"I wanna be the very best
like no one ever was
being baked is my real test
to smoke crack is my cause
I've been touring all the States
searching far and wide
looking all over my backstage
the cocaine that's inside"
It's not a MK killer anymore, but back in the day, with only Super Mario Kart and Mario Kart 64 out back then, it was.
Fast-paced races (it was a very fast kart racer), it had single races for single-player mode (which Mario Kart 7 removed for who knows what reason), an adventure mode, and a lot of other cool stuff.
CTR has since been dethroned by Mario Kart Super Circuit, Mario Kart DS and Mario Kart 8, but before Super Circuit came out, it wasn't just the best alternative, it was the best kart racer period.
Lynch me if you will, I don't care about pitchforks and torches - Super Mario Kart and especially Mario Kart 64 haven't aged well.
@AlexSora89 I didn't ever have a Nintendo home console and none of my friends did either, so I only knew Crash racing games when I was a kid. The last one I played and enjoyed was Crash Tag Team Racing, if I remember correctly
Not sure how many people used to buy consoles because of these racing games, so either way, I wouldn't call them "killer" of each other, just similar titles.
Gotta Charge 'em All (microtransactions)
They might have been able to make a decent, fun game. However, I can't imagine that it would be as enjoyable as playing Pokemon.
Eh... actually EA ever 'HAVE' the Pokemon competitor.
Still remember SPORE ?
Kinda like Pokemon competitor.
Eh, don't forget Kurikin Nano Island Story NDS.
Well, same from Nintendo but created by MediaKite.
Looks like Pokemon competitor, but Kurikin is about Bacteris Battle. Read on wikipedia for further information.
EA would probably have made it more realistic, grittier, and retain a celebrity endorsement - Michael Vick '16: Dog Fighter.
'sees the words card game' Are they sure they were trying to compete with Pokemon, not Magic: The Gathering?
I remembered when EA released MySims for Wii, kinda like Animal Crossing except the villagers or Townie are human. The character design in Chibi style was so damn CUTE but the gameplay was completely Mediocre.
I still liked Monster Rancher far better then Pokemon. Sure there are differences but that's always been my go to collectaton.
@AlexSora89 Surely you forget Diddy Kong Racing, which does pretty much all of that, and even offers a 2 player cooperative campaign (though it is gated behind a cheat code, JOINTVENTURE)
Motor Toon Grand Prix on the Playstation had the minds behind Gran Turismo and I remember it being OK but lacked the mascot factor.
Ah... Monster Rancher. I have ever played that since PS1 and PS2.
The gameplay objective quite simple : Train your monster, give right foods, give some praises or scolds, register in Battle for Prizes and Fame, Adventures, Unlocking Monster via another CD / DVD, etc. For me, gameplay concept like that somewhat more interesting than Pokemon In my opinion. Doesn't mean Pokemon games is not as good as Monster Rancher but it was my first experience about Monster Battle franchises so i know what should i do in Monster Rancher games rather in Pokemon games i almost clueless for next objective.
@Anti-Matter : Beat me to the bunch. I was just about to jump in and mention Spore as EA's answer to Pokémon. And fortunately for them, Spore as a concept is distinctive enough to differentiate it from being a mere Ditto. Pity that the franchise didn't take off (though I'm not sorry for EA; they deserve every flop they have coming to them, and then some).
The Sims? Family friendly?
Are you not familiar with the tantric concept of "WooHoo"?
I can't even begin to imagine how awful that game would have been.
An EA Pokemon would just be the same game each time with an updated roster. Oh wait...
@Piersen FWIW, Pokémon itself wasn't the first 'Mon game to begin with, just the first to find a large userbase due to being significantly more kid-friendly than Shin Megami Tensei. And having an anime actually worth watching.
@Noelemahc Digimon is also older than Pokemon. I never said anything about Pokemon being the first collectible monster fictional world or anything.
Um... The Sims isn't Family Friendly.
A Teen Games due to Sexual Reference (Woo Hoo, Kissing, LGBT,etc) and Violence (Make the character suffers in Starving, Combusted, Poisoned, Fell Down, Scared to Death, Electrocuted, etc).
But for major gameplay, basically still like general simulation game that can appeal for everyone. For me, The Sims series is the BEST Western game so far. Sure, i LOVE to design my own house with my creativity and a little bit crazy ideas. Love to see some moderate drama or Calm gameplay.
@Anti-Matter : The author of the article (Darren Calvert) described The Sims as a more "family friendly" franchise and I was merely pointing out the fact that that wasn't really the case.
It's also the only video game series that I know of that depicts teenage sexuality in an overt fashion.
Want to buy those EAballs at the EA Mart? Oh, you don't have enough in-game money? No problem! These 100 EAballs are yours for $9.99!
Want to improve the abysmal catch rate on that legendary EAmon? You gotta pay for it...in real world currency.
Face the EA Four? You can't do that yet...That isn't unlockable for non-early access holders until next month! Unless, of course, you pay more $$$.
Lol @ "EA had plans"
EA had plans to support Nintendo but didnt do.
EA had plans to make great games again but didnt do.
WHAT ELSE EA? More plans for NX? Lol
Never change EA....
Actually, scratch that. Do change EA, go make some quality games again and stop copying everything that moves in the game industry!
PokEAmon! Gotta patch 'em all...
Probably would have been called E-Animals...
@Piersen Pokemon is older than Digimon. Digimon came out in 1997 as a Tamagotchi type thing; Red and Green came out in 1996. Megami Tensei/Shin Megami Tensei are much, much older though. The first one came out in 1987/1992.
I wonder what platform this would have been on. It says it was created during the DS era, but it doesn't say it was for the DS. It could have been for the PSP or even one of the consoles.
@Allspice Oh right, I remembered wrong. Must have been with something saying how Digimon was brought to the US first.
I echo the sentiment that EA would once again pick up a good concept and completely ruin it with their greed and shoddy business practices.
You got to give it to Nintendo, it would be dead easy to make "Pokémons as DLC" a thing, but they never went that route.
@Frank90 EA's brand of competition is rarely good competition. Just look at their sports labels. By gathering almost all of the biggest licenses they basically killed off any competition in those genre and then for sports like Golf once the license ran out(Tiger Woods) they throw it away leaving the genre a wasteland...the last golf game in years was Mario Golf: World Tour.
If EA had a Pokemon game, even if their developers did a really good job the chances are that EA would push paid DLC and Season passes for exclusive monsters/content. If EA succeeded in that regard it would pressure Gamefreak to do the same.
Actually Spore's closest Relative is EVO: Search for Eden on the SNES.
@AlexSora89 lol ikr and it would involve so many deaths and realism f*** that
this has to be the news that pisses me off the most today... EA can continue to do their super realistic graphics and their crappy FIFA and DLCs they will only reach 10% the success of pokemon at the most if they do make a similar game they can f*** off right at this moment
@AlexSora89 you obviously didn't own a copy of Mariokart until 2000. If you think CTR is as good as Mariokart (expletive)
For some reason I'm imagining EA's version of Pokémon would be more akin to Invisimals.
Aside from Yokai Watch, none of them seem to have quite grasped what makes Pokémon so special, maybe EA would have but I doubt it. Would be really interesting to see the concepts though.
Well there are the mythic Pokemon (Mew, Celebi etc.), but I don't believe they've stooped so low as to charge for them.
But as long as it's a mere joke, there's no problem. I guess.
IIRC the Crash one came first, but I might well be wrong.
Don't take it at face value - CTR is better than Super Mario Kart and Mario Kart 64, not the Mario Kart series as a whole.
As far as I know, they never charged for mythicals. They were always offered for free via download at either specific locations such as Gamestop or at Nintendo live events. In fact, the only time Nintendo ever charged for anything Pokemon related is the PokeBank.
Huh. I wonder how much mandatory DLC and Day One limited editions they'd have shoved into your face.
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