Image via The Pokémon Company

Whatever happened to Pokémon Sleep?

Leave some milk and nanab berries out for PokéSanta

Recommended Videos

Pokémon Day is nearly here! The ancient celebration of Pokémon, established in 2016, is currently considered the most important holiday on every religious calendar.

As department stores start hanging their Pokémon Day decorations, all eyes are turned toward the Pokémon Company to see what will be announced. Will Pokémon Scarlet and Violet receive DLC? Will they become functioning video games? Will we get updates from some of the series’ many sub-franchises, like Pokémon Mystery Dungeon or Pokkén Tournament? Nobody knows! But I know one game we probably won’t see is Pokémon Sleep.

Oh, man, remember Pokémon Sleep?

Think back with me for just a moment on the halcyon days of 2019. In late May, the Pokémon Company held a press conference where it announced a handful of promising projects. The most popular among these was probably Pokémon HOME, the Nintendo Switch alternative to the 3DS transfer service Pokémon Bank. There was also Pokémon Masters, a free-to-play mobile game. Both Pokémon HOME and Pokémon Masters are currently available. But the Pokémon Company also announced an app that is not currently available: Pokémon Sleep.

Image via The Pokémon Company

When Pokémon Sleep was announced it was described as a mobile game featuring a “gameplay experience unlike any other,” one in which the player would…uh…go to sleep. We never got another detail on the game, so it’s hard to say what, exactly, it would have been. All we really know is that it was a mobile title that would have taken advantage of the Pokémon GO Plus+, a follow-up to the Pokémon GO Plus interactive bracelet that was pitched solely to make the Pokémon Company’s SEO and marketing team cry.

The Pokémon GO Plus+ was also never released.

Where did it all go?

So will we ever see Pokémon Sleep? Will we ever get to see the Pokémon GO Plus+? I’m not certain. Both products were initially expected in 2020, and we haven’t heard a single word about either of them since they both missed their deadlines. To be honest, that makes me a little sad.

Pokémon Sleep was going to be developed by SELECT BUTTON, Inc., the studio behind Pokémon: Magikarp Jump. That game wasn’t an interactive Pokémon-themed sleep aid, but it did have a similarly silly elevator pitch—it was a Pokémon game about raising a Magikarp to jump higher than any other fish in the land. And it was great! It wasn’t some kind of unsung masterpiece, but it was a goofy, pleasant diversion that I played quite a bit back in the day.

Image via The Pokémon Company

I’m not saying Pokémon Sleep would have been a great game, if only a clumsily-named bracelet was sold at GameStop. In all likelihood, it would have been a fairly ineffective sleep aid masquerading as a mobile game. Still, SELECT BUTTON has demonstrated an ability to turn a thin, silly idea into a charming game. I don’t know if Pokémon Sleep would have helped me develop a much-needed sleep-tracking habit. I sincerely doubt that it would have taken the world by storm the way Pokémon GO did. Still, I can’t help but wonder about what might have been.

A glimmer of hope

If you, like me, long to know what a world with Pokémon Sleep in it would look like, then I’d caution against losing hope just yet. The game isn’t showing many signs of life, but there’s still a chance. Back in January, Dexerto reported that Reddit user milotic03 had spotted a recent patent filed by the Pokémon Company on the (now-defunct) Pokémon Sleep website.

Image via The Pokémon Company

I’ve personally found it difficult to get too optimistic about this. Nearly four consecutive years of official silence isn’t exactly promising, even if work is technically happening behind the scenes. Still, it’s a sign that the Pokémon Company hasn’t abandoned this weird, unnecessary project just yet, and I always want to live in a world with more weird, unnecessary projects. So when I gather around the hearth with my family, the way I do every Pokémon Day, I’ll make sure to take a break between the traditional Pokémon Day feast and the jovial Pokémon Day caroling to offer up one last Pokémon Day wish for a Pokémon Day miracle.

I think I need this app. I have not been getting enough sleep.

Related: Pokémon Scarlet and Violet players unearth hidden DLC teasers that you likely missed on Dot Esports

Destructoid is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more
related content
Read Article If FF7 ever sees the live-action treatment, here’s who we would cast as Cloud and the gang
Read Article Where to find True Aohige Aojiru in Persona 3 Reload
Read Article Persona 3 Reload Quest 39: Where to find a CD associated with Gekkoukan High School
Related Content
Read Article If FF7 ever sees the live-action treatment, here’s who we would cast as Cloud and the gang
Read Article Where to find True Aohige Aojiru in Persona 3 Reload
Read Article Persona 3 Reload Quest 39: Where to find a CD associated with Gekkoukan High School
Sorrel Kerr-Jung
Freelancer - Sorrel Kerr-Jung has been playing video games for as long as she's been capable of pressing buttons. She's been writing news and features all over the internet for just over a year, and she started throwing words at Destructoid in late 2022. Find her on Twitter: @sorrelkj.