Pokémon Sword and Shield got a 24-hour livestream to tease new Pokémon
The Pokémon Company just gave Pokémon fans 24 hours to get familiar with two new upcoming games by tuning into a livestream that ended at 9 a.m. ET on Saturday.
Viewers were able to watch new characters appear in a mysterious, fictional forest. On average, about 25,000 people were watching the stream at any given time throughout the day. It was produced to promote the new “Pokémon Sword” and “Shield” games arriving on Nintendo Switch on November 15.
Nintendo is hoping that by adding new games to existing franchises it can keep breathing life into its Switch gaming consoles.
Towards the end of the livestream, amidst the peaceful sounds of chimes, two new Pokémon galloped into view. They’re so far unnamed but they resemble an existing Pokémon, Ponyta, albeit more colorful.
Lengthy livestreams have become an increasingly popular way to promote new products, especially in the entertainment and gaming industries. Fans seem willing to sit through videos that span many hours, often multitasking during the streams to help the time pass.
In September, singer songwriter Halsey livestreamed a video of herself painting her album cover for over seven hours, and over 300,000 fans tuned-in to watch. “I think we all brought you to [the] bathroom with us at some point,” fan Cynthia Ruth tweeted to Halsey.
In 2017, shooter game “Overwatch” produced a 9.5 hour livestream of its own, where Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan sat in front of a fireplace complete with a burning Yule Log, staring into space. And famous Fortnite streamer Ninja catapulted to the top of the internet in large part due to his own intense streaming schedule and occasional 24-hour streams.
Nintendo’s 24-hour livestream didn’t please everyone, however. While Nintendo has revealed other new Pokémon that will be in the games, most of the Pokémon shown throughout the lengthy broadcast were old friends, including Pikachu. Some people who had been watching grew frustrated and aired complaints on social media.
“It’s been hours since the #PokemonLivestream and we’ve only seen old Pokémon,” Marco Perez tweeted.
The “Sword” and “Shield games” will involve a whole new cast of Pokémon and characters, rather than just Pikachu and Ash Ketchum, popularized by past video games. There’s also a new ability to supersize your Pokémon for bigger fights. The basic components of the game are still there, including battles, rivalries and helpful professors.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated who had organized the livestream.