You know that a gaming franchise is big when the entire world joins in a celebration of all things that it represents every year. In this case, we're talking about National Pokémon Day, which is celebrated every February 27 to commemorate when both Pokémon Red and Pokémon Green were first launched in Japan back in 1996.
Naturally, The Pokemon Company uses the event to reveal upcoming Pokemon games. Back in 2019, audiences tuning in were treated to the first reveal of Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, the most recent mainline titles in the long-running series that brought the eighth generation of Pokémon into the foray and was the first game in the franchise to make its way to the Nintendo Switch platform.
Three years after Poke fans got a chance to see the UK-inspired Galar region and Gigantamax Pokémon, this year's National Pokémon Day ended with a surprising announcement - Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.
Fans have barely gotten a chance to finish the franchise-altering Pokémon Legends: Arceus and most would not have minded if The Pokémon Company took the year off to focus on expanding the series' first true open-world title. But, just like a gift that keeps on giving, the company behind the Pokémon franchise would not rest on its laurels. Although it was only a brief preview, fans got enough of a glimpse of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet to get excited enough at the prospect of visiting its bustling cities and relaxing pastures once both games arrive later this year.
As is traditional of mainline Pokémon games, Scarlet and Violet will be getting three unique Pokémon starters: a grass-type cat, a fire-type alligator, and a water-type duck. However, after seeing the success of Arceus, The Pokémon Company is doubling down on the open-world feature as the announcement trailer specifically uses the word "open-world" to refer to the upcoming core Pokémon titles.
The Pokémon franchise kept on chugging along despite the COVID-19 pandemic. After a relatively quiet year in 2020, The Pokémon Company rebounded in 2021 to release Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl, as well as Pokémon Snap, and Pokémon Unite. It appears that 2022 will be just as big with Arceus potentially kickstarting a new line of Pokémon games that will follow a different direction with Scarlet and Violet borrowing certain elements from Arceus to keep things from getting stale.
If E3 2022 is canceled entirely, we should see Nintendo hold a separate Direct showcase for all its games coming in the latter half of the year, including Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.