Pokémon Sun and Moon debuts on-campus

Isaac Serna

Nintendo announced a “historic milestone” in their recent financial report. Pokémon Sun & Moon —the seventh generation of Nintendo’s Pokémon handheld video game series set for release on Friday, Nov. 18— has surpassed Nintendo’s pre-order sales record.

“I do believe college students have been hyped up for this game ever since its announcement,” senior biochemistry major Abel Hernandez said. “I myself preordered the game the moment it was announced.”

First announced in February 2016, the upcoming game was unveiled with strategy and energy. Introduced through Nintendo Direct (a Nintendo-produced online presentation), the announcement celebrated the Pokémon Sun and Moon release as well as the franchise’s 20th anniversary.

The 2016 Super Bowl viewer witnessed The Pokémon Company’s first trailer, “Train On,” which coincided with the franchise anniversary.

Following the trailer, The Pokémon Company produced a live-action mini-series also titled “Train On,” following a child’s experience moving to Hawaii. Starting anew, the child builds friendships and self-confidence, his love for Pokémon being the catalyst.

“Previously, you’ve been able to keep excitement just by saying one or two things about the game and people remained excited,” Game Freak board member Junichi Masuda, said during a Nintendo Everything report. “Nowadays, you can say some things and people can lose interest quite quickly — it becomes yesterday’s news and something else is exciting. We want to try and keep people interested with this slow, continual release of new information.”

The Pokémon Go phenomena generated additional excitement for the Pokémon release. Pokémon Go debuted in July and generated over 100 million downloads. It broke Apple’s App Store record for most downloads in one week.

“I definitely think Pokémon Go brought back a sense of nostalgia for college students,” UTSA esports community League of Legends coordinator, Kaitlin Teniente said. “It generated interest in the community. I know a group of guys that started playing some of their older (Pokémon games) from when they were a kid because of that.”

The increased interest helped the Pokémon Sun and Moon demo attain 3.5 million downloads.

“I know the Roost does Pokkén tournaments because they have the consoles to do it,” Teniente said. “For us, we kind of depend on the community to bring their games out,” “I think all players that enjoy the game should definitely look into the UTSA esports community. Even though we don’t have an abundance of Pokémon events, most people play more than one game and Pokémon may be just their gateway game.”

Hernandez, UTSA esports’ Pokémon coordinator who plans to disband, has other suggestions.

“For students who want to participate in competitive or even casual Pokémon, I host weekly 3DS gatherings every Monday night from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Tejas Lounge,” Hernandez said. “I will continue to do so after leaving UTSA esports.”

Graphics Courtest of: Nintendo, Media Create
Graphics Courtest of: Nintendo, Media Create

“I do believe it has a greater competitive standard than League of Legends,” Hernandez said. “However, it just doesn’t have much of a viewer base due to the nature of the game, but that may change in the coming years.”

The game is set for release on Nov. 18, but can be preordered on Amazon and other outlets.

“I think a lot of people play Pokémon… and we’re planning a meetup Nov. 19 in the Pecan Room,” Teniente added. “We will have the room all day, so anyone/everyone is welcome to stop by! Everyone won’t have had the game long because it’ll be new but we want to do trading, maybe a bit of battling and we’ll be able to discover all the new Pokémon and features in the game.”

The release will give fans the opportunity to play, but students will also get the chance to connect with UTSA’s gaming community.