Something sad but also kind of hilarious keeps happening with Pokémon Sun and Moon, as players try, and repeatedly fail to hit global goals set for them in the game by the developer.
The challenges are called “Global Missions” where players are given a specific task to complete collectively in the game, and so far, Sun and Moon players are 0 for 2.
The latest failure is that players did not capture or defeat 1,000,000 monsters using the once-a-day Island Scan feature, even after a bump that allowed the possibility of using it twice a day. They got about 60% of the way there, but still missed the mark by a wide margin.
Previously, the goal was to catch 100,000,000 Pokémon, which turned out to be a ludicrously high number presumably pulled out of thin air, and players couldn’t even get a quarter of the total. While Game Freak said that drastic of a failure would cause them to rethink future events, their next one didn’t go well either. When players hit the mark, they’re rewarded with thousands of Festival Tickets each, when they miss, they get a fraction of the amount as consolation prize.
There are a number of theories as to what’s going on here, and it’s possible all of them are true in some capacity.
- Game Freak is just bad at math and estimating what’s reasonable. Five million copies of Pokémon Sun and Moon sold meant that players would only have to catch 20 each to hit that initial goal. But how many were still playing? How many bothered to link up and share their results online?
- Sun and Moon’s Global Link feature is unimportant to most players. In order for your data to count toward the grand totals, you have to connect your game to Pokémon’s Global Link system which is as cumbersome as you might imagine for Nintendo, and most players don’t care enough to do so. That means it’s up to more devoted players who are linked to slog away, but probably knowing the task is unsurmountable resting solely on their shoulders, which isn’t terribly motivating.
- People don’t care about Festival Tickets as a prize, and would rather get something cooler as a bonus.
- In Pokémon players like freedom to do what they want and don’t like being given specific assignments that change their playstyle.
- Most players may not even know Global Missions exist as they’re not well advertised or explained in the game.
In any case, it’s clear something has to change, or the playerbase will continue to be demoralized and reduce participation in Global Missions even further. It seems like the best move for Game Freak now would be to simply lowball the next requirement pretty severely and hope players complete it so this rather sad streak can be broken. But we’ll have to see what they come up with next time.
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