Thursday, 11 April 2013

There's a New Mewtwo - But Is This Really News?

If you're even a semi-regular reader of any popular videogame journalism website then the chances are that you've seen a report on the recently revealed Mewtwo-like Pokémon due to appear in October's Pokémon X & Y for the Nintendo 3DS.

I first saw this reported on Destructoid while doing my daily Sega-related news search for Sega Addicts and thought little of it. Then I saw the same report appearing on Joystiq, then Game Informer, and then Polygon. I say the same report because that's essentially what they were: "Nintendo reveal new Pokémon. It looks like Mewtwo."

But is this really news?

The videogame industry is huge, multi-billion dollar machine comprised of numerous different cogs and gears. Every day we hear of publishers lying to their customers, developers lying to their publishers, CEO's resigning, CEO's rejoicing, smaller studios being absorbed by larger ones and larger studios being shut down by ever larger mass media companies.

And yet almost every major videogame journalism site devoted resources to the reporting of one single Pokémon that looks like Mewtwo. Out of all the game related happenings on April 6th 2013, game journalism websites across the Western world found it necessary to focus on one minute aspect of one specific game.

Furthermore, not a single one of these websites made any kind of analysis of what the appearance of a Mewtwo-like Pokémon actually says about Nintendo and the upcoming Pokémon X & Y games. They all had their theories as to how this Pokémon is related to Mewtwo within the context of the game's narrative, but none of them saw fit to even hazard a guess at why Nintendo and developer Game Freak decided to include this "interesting" looking Pokémon at all.

In my opinion, the "revelation" of a Pokémon appearing in Pokémon X & Y that has clear links to Mewtwo is Nintendo once again relying on nostalgia to bring die-hard Pokémon fans flocking to their new releases.

The mystery and wonder surrounding both Mewtwo and Mew was an unforgettable element of the 90's for practically anyone growing up during the reign of Pokémon Red and Blue. Nintendo are fully aware of this and are utilising the immense level of nostalgia that even the mention of a Mewtwo evolution/pre-evolution has mustered up. It's safe to say that there are gamers who haven't even touched a Pokémon game since Red and Blue that would seriously consider doing so if they were given the promise of another Mewtwo-esque Pokémon mystery.

Nobody knows what Pokémon X & Y will be like. No one knows what new features it will have, how it will utilise the 3DS's social networking, or if it'll even be any fun to play. Nevertheless Pokémon fans around the world are absolutely ecstatic. 

Pokémon X & will sell millions of copies and 3DS consoles will probably see a sales boost as well. To say that Pokémon X & Y's very likely success isn't at least partially due to the announcement of a single Mewtwo-like Pokémon would be severely erroneous.


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