• It's the most wonderful time of the year! Make your list and check it twice. The ResetEra Games of the Year 2019 Voting Thread is now live. Voting will be open for the next 1 day, 6 hours, 29 minutes, 19 seconds, and will close on Jan 26, 2020 at 9:00 AM.

Jim Sterling: Pokémon's Business Model Has Always Been Trash

Fj0823

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,869
Costa Rica
To this day removing the GTS is the most mind boggling thing Game Freak has ever done. I’m surprised it’s not talk about as much.
People tried to. But at the time of this games' launch It felt like there was an actual, internet wide, effort to shut down any criticism of the games.

It always boiled down to "you're really just mad about the dex cut, toxic!" Or the ever present "Well I never used so it's not a big deal"
 

Professor Beef

Official ResetEra™ Chao Puncher
Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,876
The Digital World
Yes I watched the video, which is largely him asking why fans are complaining when they should be used to it.
Let's set aside Red/Blue as a first game experiment for a second here though.

What's the reason why they're still selling 2 copies of the same game now?
Just put a Sword/Shield selection menu at the start. Your save, once started, will be locked into that content, right? So you still need to trade with other people if you want a complete dex.
how many games are there that contain two different versions of a game on one cartridge/digital copy? excluding any New Game+ situations

depending on how hard it is to implement, it's probably easier to just sell 2 skus
 
Jan 10, 2018
4,394
I'm not a big enough fan to explain their thinking behind splitting it into 2 versions from the start. Maybe it was legitimately due to space limitations on the GB, or maybe they really thought to encourage trading between kids back then. It's a novel idea for a time when consoles had limited connectivity with each other.

There's no need for it now though. There's no technical reason why I can't boot the game up and choose Sword or Shield from the main menu, is there?
Yes I watched the video, which is largely him asking why fans are complaining when they should be used to it.
Let's set aside Red/Blue as a first game experiment for a second here though.

What's the reason why they're still selling 2 copies of the same game now?
Just put a Sword/Shield selection menu at the start. Your save, once started, will be locked into that content, right? So you still need to trade with other people if you want a complete dex.
Ignoring the very thing the thread is about, yes, they could handle things differently now. But on the other hand, why change what works and makes marketing easier. As mentioned several times, picking a side has been a successful part of the DNA and marketing of Pokemon for 20 years now. And no I don't object any alternative idea we forum dwellers come up with. I simply understand why they are doing it and why Sterling is blatantly wrong. Thats about it.
 

Fubuki

Member
Jan 1, 2018
305
Pretty much any game with multiple routes.

So a lot.
Luckily Langrisser 2 didn't release as Langrisser 2: Light/Dark/Empire back then.

People have been crucify companies for putting MTX inside the game because it exploits people's gambling mentality. It is no difference here with two versions of the same game released together. It is essentially exploiting the completionist mentality the same way cosmetic DLC was.
 

Kapryov

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,278
Australia
Probably marketing reasons. I ferl like a hige part of the marketing is making a rivalry between versions
Fair.
Again though, I'm not sure this justifies a full purchase. Most people will not make a second save and will stick with their first choice, so choosing Sword or Shield at the start of the game will still accomplish this.
how many games are there that contain two different versions of a game on one cartridge/digital copy? excluding any New Game+ situations

depending on how hard it is to implement, it's probably easier to just sell 2 skus
The games of Sword and Shield aren't really that different though.
Some different Pokemon, a few NPCs swapped around, and a different dungeon, right? Was there anything I missed?
I think there were way more differences in a single playthrough of Witcher 2, for example.

Ignoring the very thing the thread is about, yes, they could handle things differently now. But on the other hand, why change what works and makes marketing easier. As mentioned several times, picking a side has been a successful part of the DNA and marketing of Pokemon for 20 years now. And no I don't object any alternative idea we forum dwellers come up with. I simply understand why they are doing it and why Sterling is blatantly wrong. Thats about it.
I think we'll have to agree to disagree here. I see Red/Blue as a very early attempt at something new, possibly tied by some kind of technical hurdles, and Yellow (and on) as a cash-in.
I realise there's not much I can say here that will change longtime fan minds. I'm not super invested in this, really, but this business model feels so off to me as a new fan of the series.

And before anybody asks, yes I know somebody with Sword and can trade if I need to.
 

jacktuar

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,226
Wait how is this any different from the 2 versions? Hell you need to buy 2 versions to begin with to be affected by it
Because for the two versions of the game there are reasons: tradition, encouraging trading. For the expansion pass there is literally no reason not to have one pass for both games, except to make more money.
 

domthybomb

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
3,758
Jim once again fails to understand that the core tenant of Pokémon is trading and that no one should be buying both versions

If you do either you’re a collector or you have multiple kids playing in your household (or adults)
B/c you can't set it up based on the starter you pick. There is no point to having 2 versions.
 
Jan 10, 2018
4,394
If ANY other company tries to do what Pokémon does they would be crucified on the spot.
The only rival Pokemon has in the fandom hating the product is Star Wars.
Fair.
Again though, I'm not sure this justifies a full purchase. Most people will not make a second save and will stick with their first choice, so choosing Sword or Shield at the start of the game will still accomplish this.

The games of Sword and Shield aren't really that different though.
Some different Pokemon, a few NPCs swapped around, and a different dungeon, right? Was there anything I missed?
I think there were way more differences in a single playthrough of Witcher 2, for example.


I think we'll have to agree to disagree here. I see Red/Blue as a very early attempt at something new, possibly tied by some kind of technical hurdles, and Yellow (and on) as a cash-in.
I realise there's not much I can say here that will change longtime fan minds. I'm not super invested in this, really, but this business model feels so off to me as a new fan of the series.

And before anybody asks, yes I know somebody with Sword and can trade if I need to.
What do we disagree on? Red/blue was there to encourage trading, which was one of the biggest appeals of the game, Yellow was a cash-in. Buying blue and red was not the appeal or business model of Pokemon.
 

MoonToon

Member
Nov 9, 2018
637
People tried to. But at the time of this games' launch It felt like there was an actual, internet wide, effort to shut down any criticism of the games.

It always boiled down to "you're really just mad about the dex cut, toxic!" Or the ever present "Well I never used so it's not a big deal"
Yeah, it was and still is hella strange.

It's always in the shadows, being ignored.
"They arnt gating the 200 returning Pokemon behind a paywall! You can trade them!"
Ok ... what does this game have in place of a GTS?
Cause as it stands if you want those returning mons without paying anything you don't have the GTS to make that smooth and fast ... GTS was a great innovation for this very reason.

It gives me chills to read people hoping GTS to be apart of HOME. I mean, I guess if you were gonna get HOME regardless then it's 100% better than nothing but it's a paid sub fee service that we know nothing about.
Like, I just read it as "Please GF, cut more core features/ innovations and content and repackage them to make me pay you more money!".
The type of shit any other game company would get lynched for.
 

Fj0823

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,869
Costa Rica
Jim once again fails to understand that the core tenant of Pokémon is trading and that no one should be buying both versions

If you do either you’re a collector or you have multiple kids playing in your household (or adults)
Or or...Randomize the Pokémon that will Spawn through the moment you start a save.

There.
 

Peltz

Banned
Oct 26, 2017
4,078
If ANY other company tries to do what Pokémon does they would be crucified on the spot.
Hmmm... there are plenty of games throughout history with multiple versions. Yokai Watch 2, Card Fighter's Clash:SNK vs. Capcom, Mega Man Battle Network 4, Medabots, Dragon Quest Monsters 2, DemiKids, etc.

Like... none of this was a problem until just now in this thread. You just buy one version and meet up with someone who has the other or simply ignore the locked content since it's usually not that important anyway.

Yes, this is a marketing thing. But it's not really a big deal.
 

Kapryov

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,278
Australia
What do we disagree on? Red/blue was there to encourage trading, which was one of the biggest appeals of the game, Yellow was a cash-in. Buying blue and red was not the appeal or business model of Pokemon.
That Sterling's video is blatantly wrong, heh.
Hell, that you understand why they're doing it! It's money now, not trading, and they can get away with it now as they have "grandfathered" into it
 

Fj0823

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,869
Costa Rica
Hmmm... there are plenty of games throughout history with multiple versions. Yokai Watch 2, Card Fighter's Clash:SNK vs. Capcom, Mega Man Battle Network 4, Medabots, Dragon Quest Monsters 2, DemiKids, etc.

Like... none of this was a problem until just now in this thread. You just buy one version and meet up with someone who has the other or simply ignore the locked content since it's usually not that important anyway.

Yes, this is a marketing thing. But it's not really a big deal.
So if lots of games do it, it's good?

Lootboxes redeemed.
 

Chaos2Frozen

Member
Nov 3, 2017
12,038
Hmmm... there are plenty of games throughout history with multiple versions. Yokai Watch 2, Card Fighter's Clash:SNK vs. Capcom, Mega Man Battle Network 4, Medabots, Dragon Quest Monsters 2, DemiKids, etc.

Like... none of this was a problem until just now in this thread. You just buy one version and meet up with someone who has the other or simply ignore the locked content since it's usually not that important anyway.

Yes, this is a marketing thing. But it's not really a big deal.
Those seem like they’re from 1-2 console generations ago.

Fair enough I didn’t specify but I was thinking more along the lines of- “If any company tries to do what Pokémon does NOW...”
 
Jan 10, 2018
4,394
That Sterling's video is blatantly wrong, heh.
Hell, that you understand why they're doing it! It's money now, not trading, and they can get away with it now as they have "grandfathered" into it
If you think Game Freak made Red and Blue to make you buy both and build their business model around that, you are wrong. Simple as that.
 
Aug 12, 2019
940
People tried to. But at the time of this games' launch It felt like there was an actual, internet wide, effort to shut down any criticism of the games.

It always boiled down to "you're really just mad about the dex cut, toxic!" Or the ever present "Well I never used so it's not a big deal"
As much as I agree that the changes to the GTS were a large misstep for the series, I also totally understand the backlash against criticism by the game's release. There had been so many months of constant and near relentless negativity leading up to release that people didn't even want to hear it anymore. People had been writing off the games for features they hadn't even shown yet and that sort of thing just wasn't enjoyable to be around. Also, I think a lot of people also realized they just didn't care about Pokemon's across the board quality as much as some forum members since they just wanted to enjoy a Pokemon game.
 

Mercador

Member
Nov 18, 2017
1,074
Quebec City
Between having a Pokemon "Armor" or DLC, I prefer the DLC. Though, I guess there's two DLC because there's two games, maybe it's not even possible for them to have two games with the same DLC on the software side.
 

Leo

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,108
The two different versions never bothered me much because I don't feel like I'm losing Conte to by not buying both (and I never do, mind you), although SwSh had two exclusive gyms and if that becomes a fashion that they build upon then it will start to feel really scummy.

But even if it doesn't affect me, they definitely abuse it for making more money, specially when they release an updated game that should have been a DLC on the first place and on top of that they also have two version for it. USUM felt so cheap and was peak shameless GF.
 
Jan 10, 2018
4,394
As much as I agree that the changes to the GTS were a large misstep for the series, I also totally understand the backlash against criticism by the game's release. There had been so many months of constant and near relentless negativity leading up to release that people didn't even want to hear it anymore. People had been writing off the games for features they hadn't even shown yet and that sort of thing just wasn't enjoyable to be around. Also, I think a lot of people also realized they just didn't care about Pokemon's across the board quality as much as some forum members since they just wanted to enjoy a Pokemon game.
The negativity started with the reveal of the Lets Go games. 2 year anniversary incoming lol.
Schreckweg 5000
I think we're going around in circles now. Red/Blue was the one thing - the only one - I agreed could've had a reason for being how it was.
So when did TPC build their business model around making you buy both versions?
 

Fularu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,285
Or or...Randomize the Pokémon that will Spawn through the moment you start a save.

There.
That’s a terrible idea that would make trading incredibly difficult and obnoxiously so.

You know who you need to ask right now for your missing monsters (people with the other version), if you randomize it (ugh) then you’re screwing up the whole balance and pointlessly complexifying the game
 

Kapryov

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,278
Australia
So when did TPC build their business model around making you buy both versions?
I never said that though.
I'm one of the weirdos that say they unnecessarily make 2 versions for no technical reason, because collectors buy them all. They don't intend everybody to buy 2 versions each. The DLC is just a more blatant example.
I feel like at this point you're just trying to get me to argue with you. If you want the last word then go for it.
 

domthybomb

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
3,758
Between having a Pokemon "Armor" or DLC, I prefer the DLC. Though, I guess there's two DLC because there's two games, maybe it's not even possible for them to have two games with the same DLC on the software side.
It absolutely is possible to give both at the price of one. Buying one can give both incenses right away or make the other cost $0.
 

domthybomb

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
3,758
People that pretend to be in the know about games think it's absolutely neccesary to buy both versions. This place sometimes is quite hillarious.

More like picking them from the ground.
If it's not absolutely necessary to buy both versions, with which I agree, why is it then necessary to sell two versions?
 
Jan 10, 2018
4,394
I never said that though.
I'm one of the weirdos that say they unnecessarily make 2 versions for no technical reason, because collectors buy them all. They don't intend everybody to buy 2 versions each. The DLC is just a more blatant example.
I feel like at this point you're just trying to get me to argue with you. If you want the last word then go for it.
I agree that they aren't doing it out of technical reasons and I disagree that the business model is about making you buy both. It ain't. Sterling is wrong. The appeal of 2 versions is to pick a side and trade. The Game Boy versions proved it is a very effective way of advertising the trading aspect and to pick a side. I get why they haven't come up with a different way to do so.
 

Fubuki

Member
Jan 1, 2018
305
I agree that they aren't doing it out of technical reasons and I disagree that the business model is about making you buy both. It ain't. Sterling is wrong. The appeal of 2 versions is to pick a side and trade. The Game Boy versions proved it is a very effective way of advertising the trading aspect and to pick a side. I get why they haven't come up with a different way to do so.
Like many have said, they could have created different routes or have the wild spawn differently depends on the starter. I can understand first few gens because of experimentation or what not. But by this day, it is no more than just exploiting collectors.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,328
This should inspire a discussion about other 'it is an accepted and known quantity......or is it?' stuff in gaming.

Are most of the more-famous sporting titles completely GAAS services with yearly DLC additions to the rosters? I can see how that model can be contorted to be an excuse to complain about the traditional yearly entries for each franchise.

I go back to the new consoles - should I be surprised there are people who simply do not know there's a thing called the Switch, or the 'new Xbox' is about to be the 'old Xbox'?

No, I shouldn't. But I can't turn that into an opinion there should not be a new console coming out, now can I?
 

Slim

Member
Sep 24, 2018
2,660
Seeing people try and defend there being two versions of each Pokemon game is always going to be funny. This game design serves no purpose in 2020 other than trying to get some people to double dip.

If you want to have rare Pokemon or stuff like that you can easily design the game in a way that makes some very hard to get, and thus trading, etc, would still be a thing.
My thoughts exactly.
 

KartuneDX

Member
Jan 12, 2018
1,088
Having a hard time sympathizing with anybody upset over the expansions. This is best possible timeline in terms of options GameFreak could’ve went with here and personally I’d have hated another sequel version where I’ve gotta redo the mediocre story to get to the new content.

As for the two different passes for two different versions, this is honestly a non issue. I don't know where the idea comes from that you ever needed both version of a gen to have the "whole" game. The whole game is Pokemon Sword or Pokemon Shield. A literal handful of varying Pokemon and Gym Leaders don't make them brand new unique experiences. This rhetoric is tiring and completely invalid. YOU want to spend $120 + $60 for both version DLC passes? That's fine, but nowhere is it implied anybody has to for any purposes relating to completion, story experience, or anything other than being a superfan that enjoys buying both versions.

This has never been true. You want to spend your money and buy both versions of a game, when the option and literal standard has ALWAYS been trade to catch them all, then that's your own business.
 

Belthazar90

Member
Jun 3, 2019
328
The fact they still do 2 versions of the game in 2020 is ridiculous. And if you fall for the "it's for people to trade and improve the social aspect of the game" you're not very smart, as they clearly expect you to buy both, with double packs and all that.
 

Lynd

Member
Oct 29, 2017
1,344
Too late now, but back when they were 2D, doing an Ages/Seasons type two game thing for Pokemon would have been awesome.