The Pokemon Hype Machine
Pokemon’s sixth generation of games, X version and Y version, are coming out this October, and I could not be more excited. And it’s looking like I’m not alone. Pokemon came out in 1996 and captured the imagination of an entire generation of kids. Well, those kids are older now, but there remains a huge, rabid fanbase of Pokemon fans, and the franchise continues to attract newcomers. Capitalizing on this, Nintendo is doing a great job keeping their fans excited for the next batch of games.
This sixth generation of games was announced on January 8, and the announcement included three starting Pokemon and the two flagship Pokemon of the games. These five Pokemon became the subject of a staggering amount of fan art, discussion, and speculation. Nintendo announced enough to get people excited but held enough back that there was still a lot to question and talk about.
They followed the initial announcement a month later by announcing another new Pokemon, Sylveon. They announced little more than a name and some gameplay footage. By withholding the typing of the new Pokemon, they got people talking again. Such a simple announcement, but it opened floodgates of debates on the nature of the new, big-eyed, fancy-looking Pokemon.
This carefully generated hype continued this week with the revealing of another new Pokemon. Nintendo has tantalizingly withheld the name of the Pokemon, but it looks remarkably similar to Mewtwo, a longstanding franchise favorite. Fans have nicknamed him Mewthree, and speculation on his real name and relationship to Mewtwo is dominating Pokemon fansites.
With the pair of games coming out in six months, Nintendo has done an incredible job cultivating fan excitement early. By releasing information so slowly and sparingly, but regularly, they’re giving us something to work with. They’re giving us something to be excited about, but they’re keeping us hungry. What they’re doing is brilliant, and I’m looking forward to more tasty morsels of information as we crawl closer to the October 10th release date.