While the Pokemon franchise has arguably become most known for its mainline games, anime, and trading card game over the years, it has also had its fair share of spin-off games. Usually, the first spin-offs that come to many fans' minds include classic games like Pokemon Snap, Pokemon Pinball, and Pokemon Stadium, but the franchise has had its fair share of spin-off titles in recent years as well, with even more on the way, like New Pokemon Snap.
Back in the days of the Nintendo Wii in 2009, Pokemon Rumble released as a WiiWare game. The spin-off saw players take control of toy Pokemon to battle through dungeons, forests, and arenas, among other areas as they acquired more toy Pokemon as they progressed. However, though several Pokemon Rumble titles have released since then, the developer most known for the series, Ambrella, has been fully acquired and dissolved by Creatures Inc., a development studio which works closely with The Pokemon Company.
The acquisition was announced back in October 2020, but Creatures Inc. now officially owns all of the property rights of Ambrella, which has also been dissolved. While it isn't known why exactly this acquisition took place, it is likely that Ambrella and Creatures Inc. had similar goals, though Creatures Inc. has a longer history with The Pokemon Company and is much larger.
Apart from several Pokemon Rumble titles, Ambrella has also worked on a variety of spin-offs for the franchise including Hey You, Pikachu!, Pokemon Channel, and Pokemon Dash, some of which were even co-developed with Creatures Inc. Ambrella's most recent title was Pokemon Rumble Rush, which released on mobile devices back in 2019. However, Pokemon Rumble Rush officially shut down just this past summer, perhaps serving as a premonition of the development studio's acquisition. For the time being, it is unclear whether more Pokemon Rumble titles will release in the future.
Creatures Inc. has developed several Pokemon spin-off titles in the past, but it has most notably worked on Pokemon modeling for mainline titles like Pokemon X and Y, as well as Sword and Shield recently. While fans try not to get their hopes up about a new entry in the Pokemon Rumble series, they still hope to see the return of classic spin-offs like Hey You, Pikachu! and the Game Boy Color's The Pokemon Trading Card Game.
Even though mainline titles tend to carry most of the meat of Pokemon video games, other recent spin-offs like Pokken Tournament DX and Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX have been very well received. While the future of some of the franchise's spin-offs seems unclear, fans can likely still expect more to come with Pokemon's 25th anniversary this year.
Pokemon has been around for a long time. Since Pokemon Red and Blue hit American shores in 1998, the series has become a worldwide phenomenon. Many of the kids who started playing the first couple generations of Pokemon are adults now, as old if not more so than Pokemon itself at 25, and as such, their relationship with the games isn’t what it once was. Setting aside the controversies that plagued Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield before launch, something about this entry has felt different for older players. It may well be that they no longer feel like they’re the plucky youngster setting out on their journey to catch ‘em all and be a master — instead, they feel like the more experienced rival.
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