Update (July 16th 2021): Pokémon Unite will launch on the Nintendo Switch on July 21st 2021.
Original article (June 2020):
The Pokémon Company and Tencent Games’ TiMi Studios have teamed up to work on a Pokémon MOBA title.
Pokémon Unite is a cross-platform game Nintendo Switch and mobile devices and will be ‘free-to-start’. Expect it to have a similar revenue model to Tencent’s League of Legends, where you can play for free but pay to unlock additional skins or other extras.
In the upcoming Pokémon MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) game, players will face off against each other in 5-on-5 team battles.
Players will cooperate with teammates ‘to catch wild Pokémon, level up and evolve their own Pokémon’, and defeat opponents’ Pokémon while trying to earn more points than the opposing team within the allotted time.
A description on the Pokémon website said: “Pokémon Unite introduces a new kind of Pokémon battle – one that requires teamwork and strategy. It is simple and yet full of intricacies waiting to be unpacked.”
A trailer for the game was also shown off:
At the time of writing, the video has half a million views, with 16,000 likes and 48,000 dislikes.
Pokémon Unite will be available for the Nintendo Switch as well as iOS and Android devices. A release date has not yet been revealed.
It’s certainly an interesting announcement. Nintendo is of course family friendly, while MOBAs tend to be more complex and target the more hardcore, dedicated gamer that likes to put a lots of time into that genre.
This crossover of gamer demographics will be interesting to see. This tweet may give some kind of indication:
League of Legends also has a mobile and console version on the way – known as Wild Rift – which was first announced last year.
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
A keen League of Legends and World of Warcraft player, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.