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Pokémon on the blockchain? We’ve seen other developers try to bring the video game franchise’s monster-battling concept to life in Web3 with some serious misfires along the way, but The Pokémon Company itself hasn’t made any moves yet in the space. However, that could be changing, according to a new job listing.
The Pokémon Company—a joint venture between publisher Nintendo and game developers Game Freak and Creatures—posted a listing for a Corporate Development Principal, a role that would advise the company’s leadership on strategy and explore new innovations. And the firm is looking for someone who’s already entrenched within the Web3 world.
Specifically, the firm is looking for someone with “deep knowledge and understanding of Web3, including blockchain technologies and NFT, and/or metaverse.” But it wants someone who’s already immersed in the space, asking for applicants that are “deeply connected to a network of investors and entrepreneurs in the technology sectors above (Web3 and metaverse).”
The listing does not give a clear sense of potential moves that The Pokémon Company could make in Web3, whether it’s NFTs or a blockchain-based game. Decrypt reached out to the company for comment on potential Web3 ambitions but did not immediately hear back.
Broadly, however, the listing points to a role that will help push innovation at the 24-year-old company behind what’s been called the world’s most valuable entertainment franchise. The Corporate Development Principal will develop an internal “innovation challenge,” for example, and explore potential partnerships with external firms regarding new technologies.
The Pokémon Company oversees the vast array of games, media, and merchandise spun out of the long-running franchise, including console and mobile games, TV shows and movies, toys and apparel, and other projects and tie-ins. Nintendo itself does not own the Pokémon franchise, although it publishes all of the franchise’s console video games outside of Japan.
Pokémon’s “gotta catch ‘em all” monster-collecting premise could be an ideal fit for NFT-based games or even collectible digital assets. And in the absence of an official offering, other teams have tried their hand at such a concoction.
Pixelmon, the most famous unofficial example, sold $70 million worth of NFTs early last year before revealing artwork that was widely mocked—even its founder admitted that the art reveal was a “horrible mistake.” A new leadership team took over last September and launched revised artwork and a refreshed roadmap in an attempt to salvage the project.
In February 2022, Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa said that the gaming giant sees “great potential” in the idea of the metaverse—a more immersive and interactive version of the internet used for gaming, social interactions, work, and more. However, he added that Nintendo is in no rush to create games for the metaverse.
Meanwhile, Niantic—the developer of the smash mobile game Pokémon Go—is leaning into what it calls a “real-world metaverse” of games based on augmented reality. Niantic has also created a platform that other companies can use for NFT-driven experiences, such as the music metaverse game Elynixr from Pixelynx, a studio co-founded by electronic musician Deadmau5.