Pokémon Revolution Online (PRO) is an unlicensed Pokémon MMORPG that has been running for nearly five years.
Temtem has been all the rage since its early access release last month, with thousands of players waiting in long queues to get into the Fans game. The idea seems like such a no-brainer — take the wildly successful Pokémon formula and turn it into an MMO — so why hadn’t a game like this been created sooner? Well… it turns out that one had been. Pokémon Revolution Online (PRO) is an unlicensed Pokémon MMORPG that has been running for nearly five years.
As a company that is constantly shutting down unofficial projects, it’s mind-blowing that PRO has been able to run unimpeded by Nintendo for all these years. The developers of the game state that Nintendo does have the right to shut the program down if it so desires, but much is being done behind the scenes in the legal world to keep the game running. What exactly that entails is a bit of a mystery, but the 10,000 or so active members have to be pleased that the MMO is still alive.
With five years of updates under its belt, PRO has a massive amount of content to offer players. This includes four regions — Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh — competitive PvP with a highly developed ranking system, custom events, and over 170 Pokémon to catch and battle. And these are actual Pokémon, not new creations. Players will come across Pikachu, Eevee, and many other classics from the hit series.
PRO’s graphics are heavily inspired by the old GameBoy titles, sporting a top-down pixelized art style. Players can customize their characters to a significant degree, giving each trainer a unique appearance as they wander the overworld with their Pokémon. Yes, you read that right — you can choose a Pokémon to tag along behind you during your journey. It’s a small feature, but one that everyone seems to love.
The most incredible aspect of PRO, however, is that it is run entirely by volunteers who earn no money for their contributions. The game does offer a membership program that grants players a few perks such as an increased XP rate, but this money all goes back into keeping PRO afloat.
At this point it doesn’t seem like Nintendo has much to gain by shutting the game down, as doing so would be nothing but bad press. Whether or not Pokémon Revolution Online will be around in another five years is unknown, but we truly hope its doors are still open.