Let’s GO! Pikachu? Let’s GO! Eevee? Or something else entirely?
After the thrill of something new in Sun and Moon (and the somewhat less exciting Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon), Pokémon fans have been waiting in intense anticipation for the next game in the franchise, which we know for sure is going to be the first Pokémon game for the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo and Game Freak have been keeping everything neatly under wraps, but still netizens have been speculating that the new game (or games) could be ready for release as soon as the end of this year.
Rumors are plentiful, and now some industrious fans seem to think they know what’s coming next. An anonymous user on 4chan who appears to be in the know (though how much stock can you really put into 4chan?) apparently “leaked” information that, like other games, the next game will come in two versions, this time called “Let’s GO! Pikachu” and “Let’s GO! Eevee”.
A logo has been circulating on the Internet that certainly seems to match with the speculation, but no one knows where it comes from, or whether it’s genuine.
RUMOUR: Pokémon Let’s Go! Pikachu and Pokémon Let’s Go! Eevee are the names of the new Pokémon games that are going… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…
Scott Roberts (@ino_Tweets) May 15, 2018
The theory is that, since the title includes Pikachu and Eevee specifically, the players will be offered the choice of a Pikachu or an Eevee as their starter Pokémon, and the games will be based on Pokémon Yellow. Fans seem to think that Pikachu or Eevee will be following the character around, like in the original Yellow. However, it seems that the prevailing idea is that it won’t be a Yellow remake, but instead will be either a base game for Generation 8, the next generation of new Pokémon; or a different story altogether that continues the story of Red and Blue.
Users on another message board are guessing that the titles are real because The Pokémon Company seems to have been heavily promoting Pikachu and Eevee merchandise, with special emphasis on Eevee to help it keep up with Pikachu’s popularity (for example, sending Eevee to offices around Japan). They will also play a big role in the upcoming movie. However, it’s not an entirely convincing argument, since those are arguably two of the most popular characters in the Pokémon franchise.
▼ The trailer for the upcoming Pokémon film
Still, there’s plenty of evidence if you’re looking for it. Some think that Pokémon director Junichi Masuda dropped a hint when he recently Tweeted a photo of him holding a giant Pokéball with a stuffed Pikachu and Eevee in the background.
▼ “I found this giant Pokéball at the Pokémon headquarters this morning lol”
増田順一@GAME FREAK inc. (@Junichi_Masuda) May 11, 2018
Netizens say that the “L” on Luigi Pikachu’s hat stands for “Let’s GO!”, and is also some kind of mysterious hint. This hovers dangerously near the level of confirmation bias, though, so it’s best to take such “evidence” with a grain of salt. However, Masuda has apparently tweeted hints about upcoming Pokémon games before, so netizens are on high alert for any sign from him that could confirm their theories.
Rumors have also been circulating that the long-awaited Switch game might be integrated with Pokémon Go, which as we all know achieved massive success after its release, although the fervor quickly petered out. Industry insider Emily Rogers wrote an enigmatic post on her blog about how Nintendo could learn from the success of Pokémon Go and use some of its attributes to improve the upcoming games, implying that the Switch game may incorporate some features of the popular mobile game.
▼ A supposed leaked screenshot of the mysterious game. If you look closely, apparently Eevee is riding on the trainer’s head.
Supes (@SupesPlayz) May 15, 2018
Some netizens seem to think that this means using the touch pad to swipe Pokéballs at Pokémon, and another anonymous 4chan user suspects that the two games can be linked and players will receive rewards in Pokémon Go for actions performed in the new title. Some fans are bitter about this idea, believing that it’s merely a way to get the fair-weather fans of Pokémon Go to buy into the core game franchise, but it could be a good marketing technique on the part of Game Freak and Nintendo.
(@Polygon) May 15, 2018
Whether it’s a Pokémon Yellow remake, the start of Generation 8, a Pokémon Go-inspired game, all of those combined, or something else entirely, Emily Rogers says we can expect an official announcement of the title at the end of this month. Though fans’ speculations have been off the mark before, Rogers says the new titles might “raise a few eyebrows”, so who knows? They might have guessed it right. Either way, we can’t wait!