It appears that, just like Snorlax, Pokémon has finally awakened to bring the hotly anticipated Pokémon Sleep back into the limelight.
Originally announced back in 2019, the game had gone dormant for the past four years up until its announcement for a 2023 release at today’s Pokémon Presents event. The game consists of a sleep tracking app with a Pokémon theme, allowing players to unlock in-game research for the character Professor Neroli which reveals the sleeping habits of the various Pokémon he studies.
The game is not the first in the Pokémon series to innovate on a personal healthcare theme. Pokémon Smile released back in 2020 encourages the game’s juvenile audience to brush their teeth. The showcase for Pokémon Sleep however seems to be aimed squarely towards a more adult audience, many of whom have followed the franchise into maturity.
Pokémon goes further on mobile
The Pokémon Presents showcase also included a variety of updates for Pokémon’s other mobile games. This included a new character for MOBA battler Pokemon Unite, as well as additional characters for Pokémon Café ReMix. While Nintendo, the company whom they commonly partner with for console games, has taken a sceptical stance on mobile, The Pokemon Company itself seems more willing to entertain further ventures on the platform.
The decision to pursue the more “adult” concern of better sleeping patterns may also indicate a pivot towards their more mature audience. As Pokémon still boasts many adult fans who would’ve initially been drawn in during childhood, it offers a chance to present a more diverse and unusual series of mobile apps and games for their consumption. Given how positive 2022 was for the Pokémon Company in financial terms, this experimentation is warranted with the strong position they’re currently in.
Pokémon Unite itself has proved to be a fair success on mobile, with the game boasting the largest prize pool in Indian esports last year during the India Open 2022.