This post originally appeared on Kotaku UK, bringing you original reporting, game culture and humour from the British isles.
The Nintendo gigaleak has uncovered an awful lot about some of Nintendo’s most-beloved franchises. You can leave all your Super Marios and Star Foxes at the door, however, as the leaks have recently uncovered plans for a Pokemon MMO dating back as early as 2004.
Apparently, the concept was originally pitched by Chinese company iQue (via Switcher.gg). Offline portions of the game would be played on the Game Boy Advance, but the console could be plugged into a PC for online play, with the GBA acting as the controller.
Way back in May a data breach was reported at Nintendo. While user information and log-in details were said to be part of the leak, the full extent of what was accessed was previously unknown. Now it appears the leak included several legacy prototypes of popular games including Super Mario 64, Yoshi’s Island, Ocarina of Time and other titles.Read more
The narrative was to centre around Fire Red and Leaf Green, while online play would have borrowed code from Pokémon Coliseum. Depending on where you lived, information like Pokemon distribution and weather would change each time you logged on.
The first version of the game would have launched in the summer of 2005, with enhanced online features arriving in the spring of 2006, and a final release later that year. For whatever reason, however, this Pokemon MMO never saw the light of day, even as the series’ online elements became more and more prominent.
Nowadays, of course, you can just play Temtem for your online creature-collecting fix, but it’s a shame to see that Nintendo could have been so far ahead of the curve and never acted on it.