With Pokemon heading into a new generation of Nintendo systems, a new Pokémon generation is coming on the horizon. That means that there'll be a whole new region to explore.
Previous games have taken many world regions: Red and Blue had Kanto (Kanto region of Japan), Gold and Silver had Johto (Kansai and Tokai regions of Japan), Ruby and Sapphire had Hoenn (Kyushu region of Japan), Pokémon Coliseum had Orre (Arizona), Diamond and Pearl had Sinnoh (Hokkaido of Japan), Black and White had Unova (New York City), X and Y had Kalos (France) and Sun and Moon had Alola (Hawaii). This leaves a lot of the world open. As we've speculated before on the next area (Elder Scrolls, GTA, Mafia), let's take a look at where Pokémon may go next:
A Pokémon game set in Russia has a few things going for it. The pattern in gaming sequels usually brings in a snowy/cold area at some point. (For example, Skyrim and Far Cry 4). For a Pokémon game, this makes sense.
The variety of pokémon and places can also be potentially big. With a more European Russia in the West, a more Asian Russia in the East and all points in between such as herders, it can bring the player to a variety of locations. New pokémon/area-ized pokémon can be numerous as well, as a tundra/forest can bring many pokémon types that are rare in other games (such as ice).
Russia is also nearby Japan. And although relations between the two countries hasn't always been the best, being so close can help connect the world a bit more and be closer to the original regions.
Add in several unique cultures and biome drastically different from previous games, and a Russian-inspired Pokémon would seem to have a lot of points working for it.
Games with more unique areas are becoming the 'thing' for Pokémon locations. New York (City), France (Countryside), and Hawaii (Tropical) have shown this. For a game wanting mountains/riversides with big cities and open areas, India seems to be a good bet.
With unique architecture and a unique culture, an Indian Pokémon game could can bring in new pokémon (Thanks to India having nearly every favorite animal in the world somewhere in it's borders), a culture with many legends, and most importantly, an area where pokémon would make sense. Animals are central to many beliefs, and with previous Pokemon games having that high a regard, it could translate well into a game too.
India isn't exactly the most popular country for pokémon, and having an entire subcontinent shrunk down into a tiny area could also lead to a few problems in terms of area. But an Indian Pokémon game does seem like it would make sense.
3. United States (California/Nevada)
After Unova took on New York, it would make sense for a game to take on the West Coast too. Highly popular with Japanese tourists, and with many Japanese-Americans living in the area, it is already recognizable to the home country of Pokémon and Game Freak.
There are many major cities to base areas in the region on (Los Angeles, Las Vegas, the Bay Area, San Diego), and most major biomes are represented – Deserts, Ocean, Mountains, Grassland, etc. That means a lot of pokémon types. Even the culture is a plus – Hispanic influence, with each city doing something big (LA- movies, Bay Area – Technology, Vegas – Gambling) for uniqueness. Slot machines from previous games would be at home in Las Vegas, with big technology firms like Silph Co. being in Silicon Valley all make sense. Legends based off of Native legends could also bring a few cool legendary pokémon out.
The Western U.S. Could also influence the types of pokémon being found, with many Western U.S. Species not having a Pokemon equivalent yet. Out of every possible area, a California/Nevada area makes the most sense culturally, financially and creatively.
Riding on the tail of the World Cup and the Olympics, Brazil (especially Rio) could make for an interesting game. A version of Carnival and an epic Gym overlooking Rio de Janerio can bring local flavor, with a huge Rain forest area (the Amazon) making a big area to get pokémon based off of rain forest species.
Pokémon games love legends, and the mysteries of the Brazilian rain forest can bring plenty of that. Even extending up the continent into Central America could bring hidden cities, dangerous pokémon and river boat travel – different things to make a Brazilian-themed Pokémon game unique.
A big problem would be the limitations – Jungle and Ocean was just done for Alola, and even with everything Brazil does differently, it could still be soon as too similar. While it is possible for a Brazilian Pokémon game, it might take a few games to become a reality.
If Pokémon is looking for a more unique set of pokémon, then Australia is probably the best place to go – filled with unusual animals that not too many pokémon have been based off of, an Aussie-themed Pokémon game could bring out a more unique, and natural, group of pokémon based of of everything from the Koala to the Platypus to the Thylacine.
It's not just the wildlife either – Big city, coastal areas, woodlands, rain forests, coral reefs, and deserts can vary the hell out the area. Australia being a top vacation destination (especially to Japanese tourists) and Pokémon being very popular there probably helps some too.
Even local Aborigine legends and legendary pokémon based on that can bring out more of the Australian flavor. After California, Australia is probably the next best bet for a game since, just like California, it has a bit of everything, and is strong in what makes a Pokémon setting great.
Like we said – both California and Australia seem the strongest options for the next Pokémon game. They have big unique cities, an array of area types, unique cultures, a wide variety of animals to have Pokemon be based off of that haven't yet, amazing local legends and have popularity with many in Japan. It basically meets the Alola standard, and then some. There are many places for Pokémon to go, but these seem to be the best options – and seem like a lot of fun.