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Pokémon Sleep Is Still Missing In Action

Recent trademark activity raised hopes the sleep-based project was still awake

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Sleepy Snorlax
Image: The Pokemon Company

Back in 2019, the internet was all sorts of excited by the announcement of mobile game/sleep monitor Pokémon Sleep. But despite a 2020 release date, not a single word had been heard about it since, leaving many to assume it had been abandoned. Then, yesterday, someone noticed its trademark had been updated, leading to hope it might appear at today’s Pokémon Direct. It...did not.

During a 2019 press conference (remember those?), The Pokémon Company announced the existence of Pokémon storage app Pokémon Home, the first news of Switch release Pokémon Sword and Shield, and the complete peculiarity of Pokémon Sleep. While the first two have, of course, since been released, there’s been not a peep on the slumbering app.

It was supposedly being made by Select Button, the developers behind Magikarp Jump, and was quite extraordinarily intended to be an app that monitored your sleep, somehow linking this data into Pokémon Go. The idea was that it would note what time you fall asleep and what time you wake up and react to that. Which sounds hella creepy and suitably bonkers.

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It was intended to gather this data using the hilariously named Pokémon Go Plus+, an accessory that has also yet to appear, which would feed sleepy information via its accelerometer. Why? What for? We still don’t know, but I do especially love Wikipedia’s ambiguous phrase, “sleep-related gameplay.”

This was part of what was looking like a deliberate attempt to adapt all manner of daily routine activities into Pokémon-related gaming. PoGo obviously centers around walking about, while 2020's Pokémon Smile attempted to make teeth brushing into a gamified experience.

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Not a great deal more was known about Pokémon Sleep, other than that missed 2020 release window, and The Pokémon Company has gone quiet about it since. It wasn’t until yesterday that most people had given the project any thought when Pokémon rumor Twitter account “eclipse_tt” spotted that its trademark filing was updated at the end of June this year.

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With that recent activity and a Pokémon Presents about to happen, those looking to turn sleepytime into Poké-time got their hopes up once more. And yet, nada.

Pokémon Company! What has happened to Pokémon Sleep? You can tell us, we’ll understand. Is it something to do with accelerometers being a really strange way to measure sleep while plenty of sleep-recognizing apps already exist anyway? Heck, you’re already using fitness apps to plug into Pokémon Go. Does it need to be a third app in the chain? We don’t know!

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It’d be lovely if there were at least an acknowledgment the project is still in development, beyond obscure filing data sought by the most dedicated. Because, right now, we’re all just wasting a third of our lives away, not able to game with it at all.