Among the many Pokémon titles announced recently is another mobile title called Pokémon Masters. This game will be developed by DeNa, developer of Fire Emblem Heroes and the upcoming Mario Kart Tour. Whilst still broadly targeted at a casual audience, it promises to have a greater emphasis on Pokémon battles. It also features the return of many prominent Pokémon trainers from previous mainline Pokémon games, whom you can battle alongside or against.
According to the Pokemon Company, “Pokémon Masters enables players to experience a new type of Pokémon battling on the go and features many famous Pokémon Trainers from the long history of Pokémon video games. Gameplay will be optimized for smart devices for a casual but uniquely Pokémon experience. Fans can expect more details about Pokémon Masters in June.”
Apparently, the idea began when Game Freak CEO Ken Sugimori suggested making a Pokémon game featuring all past and present Pokémon Trainers from the video games. In the footage we have seen so far, previous Gym Leaders and Champions make an appearance, such as Misty, Brock and Cynthia. Battles appear to take place in a 3v3 format, with players teaming up with two returning Pokémon trainers. In addition, special moves similar to Pokémon Sun and Moon’s Z-Moves feature in the game.
We don’t have much information on Pokémon Masters so far. However, it feels like it is trying to draw in a more traditional Pokémon audience to its mobile titles. Previous Pokémon mobile games, such as Pokémon GO and Pokémon Shuffle have focused more on the catching elements, or used gameplay formats from other popular mobile titles with a Pokémon theme. The prominent use of characters from the mainline Pokemon series, as well as gameplay more reminiscent of combat from the games, appears to be an attempt to encourage fans of the regular series to try out the mobile titles.
We will get more info on Pokémon Masters in June, but so far it looks like one to watch. A Pokémon mobile title aimed more at hardcore audiences could be interesting. It is likely it will be free to play with micro-transactions, as with Nintendo’s other mobile offerings. Considering Pokémon GO generated $1.2 billion in revenue in just two years, it seems to be a good strategy.