Nintendo’s Pokémon franchise is having a huge renaissance for 2016, with the hit release Pokémon Go becoming the biggest mobile game ever in the U.S. and a long-anticipated live-action Pokémon film finally going into development. On the traditional gaming front, the fighting game Pokken Tournament and mystery-solving release Detective Pikachu are taking the property in bold new directions — proving the endurance of the creature-collecting classic that’s become one of gaming’s most successful series of all time.
Ever since it first debuted on the original Gameboy in the late 1990s, Pokemon has been one of the most prominent franchises in the Nintendo universe — no easy feat, considering that the Japanese gaming giant was already home to Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Kirby, Metroid and many more of the most popular classic games and characters the medium has ever produced. In a press release, Nintendo celebrated the news of a new pre-sales champion being crowned:
“Today, Nintendo announced that Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon are officially the best pre-selling games in Nintendo history. Additionally, the Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon Special Demo Version is the most downloaded demo on the Nintendo 3DS eShop in Nintendo History!
With the launch of the first Pokémon video games 20 years ago, the Pokémon brand quickly became a global sensation and hasn’t left popular culture since. The Pokémon brand’s 20-year celebration in 2016 has ignited fans’ passion for the beloved franchise across the country and around the world with a wide variety of initiatives and new launches. As part of this banner year for the iconic franchise, video game players are no doubt anticipating the launch of the upcoming Nintendo 3DS games, Pokémon Sun andPokémon Moon, on November 18.”
Pokémon Sun & Moon (which just yesterday wowed fans with the debut of the final evolved forms of its all-new Starter Pokemon) promise to take Nintendo DS players to the largely unexplored island of Alola; a Polynesian-inspired landscape where Trainers will take part not only in the traditional gameplay of collecting, training and battling wild Pokémon but also in the establishment of the island’s Pokémon League itself — which has not yet been established as the story begins. Players will also work to solve the mystery of the island’s Guardian Deities, legendary Pokémon whose power could decide control of the new region and its nascent Pokémon League.
Pokemon Sun & Moon is set for release on November 18, 2016.