Image Credit: Bethesda
Forgot password
Enter the email address you used when you joined and we'll send you instructions to reset your password.
If you used Apple or Google to create your account, this process will create a password for your existing account.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Reset password instructions sent. If you have an account with us, you will receive an email within a few minutes.
Something went wrong. Try again or contact support if the problem persists.
Image via The Pokémon Company

Why do Pokemon games have two versions? Answered

Gotta catch 'em all.

Pokémon is truly a unique franchise in how it handles its releases. Every time a major mainline game releases, it comes with two versions for fans to buy, each usually showing off a different legendary Pokémon. Why is it that they do this, though? Why would The Pokémon Company and Nintendo continually release multiple versions of the same game every few years? Here is an explanation on the situation.

Recommended Videos

Related: The 10 best Pokémon regional variants in the series

Why do Pokémon games release in pairs?

To understand why Pokémon games release with two versions at the same time, you would need to look at the series’ beginnings on the Game Boy. When Pokémon Red and Blue released (Red and Green in Japan), there was no internet available on the Game Boy for players to battle and trade with each other. Releasing two versions of the game with exclusive Pokémon to catch incentivized people to trade with others. Because there was no way to acquire some Pokémon in one version, you would have to get them by trade with the other version.

Fast forward to the current day and Pokémon is still banking on players trading with others to fill out their Pokédex. Of course, there is an argument to be made that selling two versions of the game is to charge people twice, and that is very highly likely to play some role in why the series still does it. There are fans who will buy both versions at the same time, but the main reason The Pokémon Company will give you is to promote trading among the community. While some people may consider the multiple versions to be a way to make more money, it apparently works out fine for Pokémon and it’s a model that doesn’t look to be abandoned any time soon.

Gamepur is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of John Hansen
John Hansen
John Hansen is a Full-time Staff Writer for Gamepur as well as a host for the YouTube channel Pixel Street Videos where he co-hosts a weekly gaming podcast and more. His favorite games include Super Mario 64, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Breath of the Wild, Left 4 Dead 2, and Overwatch. He covers Overwatch 2 and other FPS titles, Minecraft, Sonic the Hedgehog, Legend of Zelda, and whatever zombie games are placed in front of him.