Pokémate

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Pokémate
Pokémate logo.png
Developer(s) Square Enix
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Series Pokémon
Platform(s) Mobile phone
Release
  • JP: June 5, 2006
Genre(s) Virtual pet/messaging
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer, online multiplayer

Pokémate (ポケメ~ト) is a Pokémon-themed application for NTT DoCoMo FOMA 900i series mobile phones developed by Square Enix. It was announced in April 2006 as a Pokémon-themed messaging application for release that Summer in Japan, and launched on June 5 as a full game surrounding a messaging system. The application allows players to care for Pokémon and communicate with friends. Pokémon must first be captured with Poké Balls, of which the player has a limited supply. The initial application was free, but to receive more Pokémates, Poké Balls, and other media, a monthly subscription price of 210 yen was required for the "formal service edition". The game was only released in Japan, and the service was discontinued a year and a half after release in January 2008. Beyond the initial announcement, the game drew little attention from both the Japanese and English-language press.

Gameplay[edit]

Catching a Charizard in Pokémate

Unlike in other Pokémon games, the Pokémon in Pokémate are meant to be taken care of, similar to a virtual pet simulation; they do not level up or fight like a role-playing game. When the game is accessed for the first time, the player is given three random Pokémon and 10 Poké Balls with which to catch other Pokémon. Without a monthly subscription, the player can not catch any more Pokémon than the initial set of Poké Balls.[1] The subscription grants the player five more Poké Balls, more available Pokémon to capture, and the option to purchase more Poké Balls for additional fees.[2]

Chat and messaging application[edit]

The chat feature in Pokémate

The chat room application allows the user to chat with up to 16 friends respectively or send "Poketoku" voice mail to any other users. The "Hiroba" mail feature allows the player to send e-mails or messages to other users of the application.[1][3][4] The messaging application only worked for the first month unless a subscription was purchased.[5] Captured Pokémon can be displayed as the player's avatar when chatting with other users. The avatar's expression changes in reaction to messages.[4] The messaging feature was the primary point of Pokémate, which was marketed as a Pokémon-branded voice and text communication service between users rather than as a video game.[1]

Development[edit]

Pokémate was announced by Square Enix on April 24, 2006 as a mobile communication application for NTT DoCoMo FOMA 900i series mobile phones, where Pokémon would live in the user's phone and let the user communicate with their family and friends as if via email. Pokémon were said to announce new messages in their own voice. The application was planned to be released with a monthly subscription fee that Summer in Japan.[6] The application was launched on June 5, 2006, with a game surrounding the initially announced messaging application.[5] It was showcased at the Tokyo Game Show in September 2006 along with a playable demo at the Square Enix lineup.[7][8] The interface was designed for easy use and was aimed towards elementary-school aged children.[9]

The initial application was free, but to receive more Pokémate, Poké Balls, and other media, a monthly subscription price of 210 yen was required for the "formal service edition".[1] The game was only released in Japan, and the service was discontinued a little over a year after release in January 2008.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "スクウェア・エニックスとポケモンがケータイ分野で提携! - ファミ通.com" (in Japanese). Famitsu. 2006-04-24. Retrieved 2011-02-21. 
  2. ^ http://www.itmedia.co.jp/mobile/articles/0606/05/news075.html
  3. ^ "スクエニとポケモン、コミュニケーションiアプリ「ポケメ〜ト」". K-tai.impress.co.jp. Retrieved 2011-02-21. 
  4. ^ a b "ポケモンを使ってメールやチャットができる『ポケメ〜ト』! 無料お試し期間も!! - ファミ通.com". Famitsu.com. Archived from the original on 2012-10-24. Retrieved 2011-02-21. 
  5. ^ a b "Press Release 20060605" (PDF) (in Japanese). Square Enix. 2006-06-05. Retrieved 2015-12-09. 
  6. ^ "Press Release 20060424" (PDF) (in Japanese). Square Enix. 2006-04-24. Retrieved 2015-12-09. 
  7. ^ Sullivan, Meghan (2006-09-14). "Games of TGS: The Official List". IGN. Retrieved 2011-02-21. 
  8. ^ "東京ゲームショウ2006". Square Enix. Retrieved 2011-02-21. 
  9. ^ "スクウェア・エニックスとポケモン、携帯コンテンツで提携。コミュニケーションツール「ポケメ〜ト」を今夏配信" (in Japanese). Game.watch.impress. 2006-04-24. Retrieved 2011-02-21. 
  10. ^ "サイト終了のお知らせ" (in Japanese). Square Enix. Retrieved 2011-02-21. 

External links[edit]