Twitch Plays Pokemon became an internet phenomenon following its arrival last month, and the creator of the viewer-driven stream has every intention to continue broadcasting. As long as there are still people interested, that is.
The Twitch channel operates by sorting through a constant stream of chatter and using those words to form cohesive commands. Twitch users can flip the channel into one of two modes, democracy or anarchy, to move based on majority vote or commands as they arrive, respectively. Speaking with Polygon via email, the creator — an Australian programmer who wishes to remain anonymous — explained that there currently is no end in sight for the frantic stream.
"I was mostly certain they would have succeeded."
"I intend on running the stream for as long as it still has an active following," the creator said.
After beating Pokemon Red, Twitch Plays Pokemon moved on to Pokemon Crystal, which wrapped with a victory for players earlier this month. Although the channel creator set a time limit to complete the game, the deadline was only to ensure the start of its next undertaking, Pokemon Emerald; the pressure didn't affect the outcome, they said.
"I was mostly certain they would have succeeded, if not I could have always delayed Emerald or ran them both simultaneously," the creator said.
As for why Crystal was the next step, the creator said it was appealing for both its content, gender option and overall look. Crystal did contain one major modification to its original form, however. Players faced off against their former winning party in Pokemon Red (also the default name of the game's protagonist) — essentially an AI ode to their victory.
"I think Game Freak wanted the battle with Red to have the original team of Pokemon but weren't able to because it's impossible to read the saves of other games, that's why the team is comprised of Pokemon that the majority of the players have owned one of at some point," the creator said.
During its run, Crystal received less viewership than its predecessor.
"I think this is mostly because the novelty is wearing off for a lot of people and it has been reported on less in the media," the creator said.
Twitch Plays Pokemon has since moved on to Emerald. The programmer said that while channel's play system has improved since its debut, it still isn't ideal.
"I have some small tweaks in mind, but I don't want to make changes unless it would improve things more significantly," the creator said.
The steam is already two days into its run of Emerald. When the community finishes, it will return to its roots. Sort of.
"I'm planning on doing a run of Pokemon FireRed with a randomizer," the creator said.