Hi Joe! Within Wiitalia community, there are a lot of Pokémon fans that surely know Serebii; many other readers, thought, might not be informed about your activity, so how would you introduce yourself?
Basically, I’m Serebii and I run arguably the most popular and biggest Pokémon website in the world, Serebii.net.
What’s the story behind your website? How did all start, and how could you keep working on it without losing interest? Serebii has been holding remarkably well throughout the years, despite an only recent presence on social networks and an old layout (which I personally love!). The success of Serebii must surely come from the big effort and passion you put in your work…
I’m glad you like the layout. I keep finetuning it, and intend to redo the graphics at some point, but it’ll always stay with a similar style of navigation. I dislike how so many sites now lack a navigation system, often just to scroll or use a search. I find it counter-intuitive, especially as they’re now starting to use gigantic images and fonts.
I started the site at lunchtime at school. It was just meant to be a hobby site, as many small sites are when started by a teenager, but it just escalated more and more as time went on. My interest has waned from time to time, but then there’s always something awesome round the corner. A good thing that keeps me going on is that I love the fact they change the concept so often in the spin-offs. While many people and sites seem to ignore spin-offs, I think they breathe life into the franchise. I especially love sharing new Pokémon with the internet for the first time. It’s one of the joys I have in covering games.
Why did you choose Serebii? I guess it’s your favourite Pokémon…
Basically, I started out without any focus, with the site being called Joe’s Pokémon Page, but when the Johto Pokémon were released, Celebi was revealed and it was the “Mew” of that generation, as I called it. Plus, it was a time traveller and I have always loved time travel, so it made sense for it to be the focus
Since you were mentioning spin-offs, which one of them is your favourite one? Recently we had a quite unusual spin-off, Pokémon Conquest, that turned out to be pretty good; on DS, we also saw many sub-series with a lot of entries, such as Pokémon Ranger; my favourite one, though, still is Pokémon Snap.
That’s a really hard question to answer. Each have their strengths and weaknesses. The Dungeon games have fantastic stories while PokéPark has brilliant battle gameplay. Almost every one of the spin-off games has a redeemable quality so it’s really hard to pick. At the moment, I’d have to say the Rumble series is my favourite. Being able to collect toys of all the Pokémon in manic battles against hundreds of Pokémon simultaneously? It doesn’t get much better.
A big part of your work is to find and collect all the latest news about Pokémon world; you cover basically every aspect, from video games to TV shows and so on. How has this activity changed over years? I remember that in early 2000′s (the first generation came out in 2000 in Europe!) I got all the related news from magazines, and they were behind many months with respect to North America, let alone Japan. Now we have live streaming, leaks (and leakers), Twitter and so on, and that surely changed a lot when writing from a website like Serebii.
Back in the early days, it wasn’t such a race to get information; it was fine to be a few days late with it. Very few sites covered the Japanese aspect of the Pokémon franchise and that’s where I jumped in dealing with the Japanese releases of episodes, games etc. first. Since then, however, everyone now covers that so it is now essentially a cut-throat race to be first, especially when it comes to new Pokémon reveals. As such, I’m essentially on-call constantly for news.
Well there have been a few things. There was the incident you mentioned regarding the cease and desist, but that wasn’t entirely funny. There was one time, back in 2002, where as Ruby & Sapphire came out, and the coverage of it began when we got so many hits it essentially burned out a server and the site was down for months. The amount of hits that did that though is essentially peanuts now
How did your passion for Pokémon start? I remember that I started watching the anime, and then I was curious to try the video game as well; therefore I used my Christmas money to buy Pokémon Blue; since then, I never skipped a generation!
Back in school, a friend had bought it when he went to America on holiday. He let me play it and it seemed really interesting, so I managed to convince my mum to import it. From then on, my love for it grew and grew. Not missed a game since, not even a spin-off!
Are you excited about Pokémon X / Y? There seems to be quite a lot new stuffs, like the mount, 3D battles, maybe a new type… It also seems Nintendo is more organized in sharing news this time, maybe because of the worldwide release.
Very much so. Everything about it just keeps showing brilliance. The designs are top-notch, and the 3D world just seems really cool and well thought out. I really hope it lives to the hype.