Here’s What We Think About Pokémon Unite

p1_pokemonunite_announcement
Ready for this new game? Pokémon Company

The Pokémon Company revealed a new game yesterday and it was one that many fans didn’t expect, or quite possibly, didn’t want. Dubbed as Pokémon Unite, it appears to be an attempt to enter into the MOBA genre. Not just any MOBA though, but one that looks to be made for the mobile platform, though there is the promise of crossplay with the Nintendo Switch.

Like any MOBA game, Pokémon Unite offers 5v5 battles where players catch wild Pokémon and then level up and evolve them. Of course, teams need to defeat the other side by getting the most points in the allotted time.

So what are our thoughts about it? To give you an idea, watch the video announcement below:

Let’s start with the negative side of this. When the announcement was first released, it didn’t get the response the developers were probably hoping. As of this writing, the video has 2.5 million views with around 80K likes versus 141K dislikes. The UK version also has pretty much the same figures with around 174K views and likes at 4.3K with dislikes at 7.3K. By the way, most of the comments are also alleging that dislikes may have been removed.

If you’ve been a gamer, you probably get the feeling that this is pretty similar to what happened when Blizzard first announced Diablo Immortal.

A report at the GO Hub summed this pretty well. Western fans had really high expectations for the announcement and hoped it would be a remake instead of a free-to-play mobile game. Meanwhile, fans in the Eastern side were not too keen on the partnership with Tencent to develop the game. Regarding the latter, however, it’s not a surprise for The Pokémon Company collaboration with Tencent considering how large the Chinese gaming market is and the potential for revenue. In fact, looking over the many negative comments, many of them are centered on the partnership with Tencent.

However, it’s not all negative as based on the announcement, it appears that Pokémon Unite could well bring a fresh change to the MOBA genre. For starters, the fact that you don’t need to destroy the other team's towers is a bit refreshing. Instead of towers, the game has what are known as scoring areas. The team that has the most points at the end of an allotted time wins. This is sure to offers players some new strategies.

The Verge described it best in a report saying that the game “has the potential to be absolutely massive” and that it can introduce “the world of competitive gaming to a whole new audience.” That right there is the kicker. While Pokémon has a large portfolio of games under its IP, its competitive scene still isn’t that huge. That could change with Pokémon Unite. Let’s not forget the fact that with the game being released to both the mobile platform and the Switch, that means there’s a potential for a large audience.

However, all of this is still dependent on what’s going to happen in the next few days and how The Pokémon Company will react. So what do we think about it? Well on the one hand, we do understand how many gamers are protective when it comes to their platforms. Remember what happened when Death Stranding suddenly announced that it was no longer exclusive for the PlayStation 4? You also have to add the fact that not many PC or console players look positively when it comes to mobile games.

If The Pokémon Company plays it right, though, Pokémon Unite has the potential to be a really good game. The game could introduce new players to the franchise while also providing a fresh take on the MOBA genre. Let’s what happens and move on from there.

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