And I’m Back: When Mountain Dew Meets Pokemon Meets WoW

Posted by on November 9, 2012 - 1 Comment »

And I’m Back is a mini-series column dealing with the return to Azeroth after being away for so long. The series chronicles personal reactions to changes to discoveries and making the needed adjustments to the new Azeroth.

I’ll admit that when Blizzard announced the long-desired Pokemon Online would be a part Mist of Pandaria I jumped for joy. Many decried the move as selling out, catering to casuals or a flat out act of desperation. I didn’t lean that way. Not even for a moment. To me, it wasn’t selling out or catering, but making use of hours of development and leveraging the OCD mentality of the many pet collectors.

Considering I was currently not playing WoW upon the announcement, I could only chalk it up as a win for Blizzard. It added a major bullet point to MoP for me that was much needed. I’ve longed for a true persistent Pokemon world since MMOGs first became a thing. Thus, I cheered the announcement.

Hit the jump for more on Warbot versus Fantasy.

For the first time, my sizeable collection of pets, everything from Egbert to Disgusting Oozeling to the paid-for Gryphon Hatchling, are now worth far more than simple eye candy. Pre-Pet Battle collectors have a huge advantage, offering owners a massive pile of options when doing battle. When I was scrolling through my list of options I came across something that sparked a long-forgotten memory, a cross promotion between Blizzard and PepsiCo.

The Warbot was created to promote two new flavors of WoW-branded Mountain Dew, both equally terrible. Now purchasable for 50 gold, the fuel required to power the warbots to do battle is no longer available in the game. The creation of the Pet Battle system means it’s no longer needed.

Of course, that same system now allows a Warbot to assault actual WoW universe pets. No matter how often I do battle with or against a Warbot, I have to chuckle at its ridiculousness. Often, there’s a long discussion about the unit after victory is declared.

I hope Blizzard earned its coin for forcing a fourth wall pet into the game for the sake of promotion (and Battle.net adoption). Let’s hope it doesn’t happen again.