There are games that will sell no matter what. Grand Theft Auto VI could be released in such a broken state it kills your firstborn, and it would still sell a billion copies on day one. Breath of the Wild 2 could contain anthrax, and people would buy two copies each. It is therefore that no matter the state Pokemon Scarlet and Purple (PSV) came out in, he was guaranteed to do extraordinarily well. The fact that it’s so, very broken is devastating, but was never going to significantly affect its inevitable sales. What’s more interesting is how, for the majority, they still benefit.
I know I am.
Only UK numbers are there at the momentbut these show PSV be the second biggest sale Pokemon all time game, only beaten by 3DS Sun and Moon. In fact, it may be much bigger than that, given that it’s only boxed sales figures, as Nintendo doesn’t release download data. Scarlet and Purple could easily rack up the franchise’s highest opening week numbers, despite being the most unfinished Pokemon nowadays.
So why? Well, there are a lot of factors at play here. But I think it comes down to a combination of hype, nostalgia, and the fact that, as much as we like to complain, people are willing to play broken games.
Pokemon unequivocally benefits from one of the most difficult things to establish well in gaming: a formula. (Which is the polite way to call it formula.) Like Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed, Smash Bros., or many other successful franchises, audiences seek out the patterns of play they already know, but perhaps with incremental improvements. People want what is familiar, even nostalgic, but also with enough innovation that it is slightly different from before. And while many will protest, they want giant leaps in progress, and probably cite OTW compared to the previous Zelda incarnations, they would also be absolutely livid if tears of the kingdom turned out to be very different from its predecessor.
Whereas PSV may have been promoted as a radical departure from Sword and Shield– the advent of an open world, with three times as many story paths to explore, and you can even do the gyms in any order – the reality is, when we watched the trailers, it just seemed familiar enough to pre-order. You were going to buy it anyway, weren’t you? Why not get this bonus item? Look, there are Psyducks! The fact that Nintendo limited reviews the day before release (to sites they felt wise enough to be allowed to review, of course) certainly didn’t help, making it very difficult for any point of sale to communicate to readers or viewers how broken it was. the game is.
Read more: Pokémon Scarlet and Violet players are trying to get refunds
Of course, in the gaming press, we pride ourselves when we even imagine that our talk about a series of games as mainstream as this could materially affect sales. Never mind that it will only ever be a fraction of the people who change their minds to not buy a game after seeing negative reviews. As these early sales figures show, widespread coverage of the game’s serious issues has done nothing to dampen its popularity.
Well, that’s pre-purchase excitement, but what about after people start playing? Well, again, niche groups risk believing themselves to be much more representative of the general population than they really are, and in this case it is the Publicly Outraged who are deluding themselves.
Yesterday, I wrote how much fun I had playing Pokemon Scarlet in co-op. Know how a my city commentator would respond immediately, I strongly cautioned the article with disclaimers that, yes, it was definitely not published in good enough condition. I said it because I believe it – it’s not acceptable for a publisher the size of Nintendo to release a $60 AAA game, knowing it plays like a beta. They knew what state he was in, but they also knew a Pokemon the release date can’t be missed, due to the ridiculous number of dominoes that would topple a multi-billion dollar franchise. And people who read a specialized gaming site like this have every reason to be angry about it. It’s just that they are also inclined to think that they are part of the majority and that their righteousness is representative. So much so that despite my falling over myself to acknowledge it, commentators have always felt the need to indignantly inform me that the game is unacceptably broken, and this moral corruption ensures the game’s demise.
Still, I bet my ass they’re still playing. I bet they’re furious, but still want their Koraidon to be able to climb walls, so they’ll just do this other Titan battle. Yes, there are some refund requestsbut the real majority crack anyway, except without being furious while they do.
It also seems very likely that the amount of attention brought to the game by its increasingly fun bugs and glitches could help too. Sure, you’re watching a clip of someone falling through the floor, but you’re also reminded that this new Pokemon game exists. And, aside from that bit where the guy fell through the floor, it’s bright and colorful and full of cute cute creatures!
But perhaps more than anything else, the truth is that you box play the game. constant automatic backups, and while absolutely unforgivable, hard crashes are the rarest glitches in the game. I’ve had so many dumb issues with the game, but the real answer I have mostly is to show my son so that we can laugh at how silly he looks, or him to me. And then we continue to have fun with the game.
I’m much more pissed off at how the game wastes Poké Balls by refusing to catch lower level creatures on a fraction of remaining health, than I am because every time I stand on an incline, the game shows me her underwear. My patience is tested every time the game tells me a Pokemon is asleep, and for no reason tells me the Pokemon is asleep again, then immediately tells me the Pokemon didn’t do anything because he’s asleep, before I can take another fucking turn. It’s not as taxing as my Koraidon disappears so it looks like I’m floating above the ground.
As a game reviewer, I’m amazed by Pokemon Scarlet and Purple‘s janky release, and will be happy to warn people about it until it’s patched to heaven. As an enthusiast, I play it in tiny windows of free time, trying to fill up my Pokédex, buying new hats, and getting hyped as my Pokemon team evolves. It’s definitely not good enough, both in terms of its technical horror and its lack of ambition beyond greater reach. If I was writing a review, it would be one of those infuriating reviews where I list in detail everything I think Game Freak should have done better, and then add that I’m having a lot of fun playing it.
The Pokemon games have a hook, and it’s a good one. There’s a reason it’s one of the world’s most successful game franchises, surviving on its main game loop for over 25 years, and continuing to do so despite complaints from a strong minority at each new version. This minority is most likely right, but what the show’s success shows is that being right isn’t worth much against this juggernaut. And, you know, a juggernaut that you bought and still plays.
#plays #Pokemon #Scarlet #Violet #glitchy #hell