In unexpected news, a new Pokémon game was yet again revealed overnight, tackling yet another new genre. Pokémon Unite will be the first MOBA to come out of the franchise, and it’s releasing on Switch and mobile devices, with cross-platform play promised.
The game will be coming as a collaboration from The Pokémon Company and Tencent, who are known for popular-in-China MOBA Honor of Kings, along with holding a large stake in Riot Games, of course known for League of Legends. So, in theory, they know what they’re doing playing in this space. The Pokémon Company and Tencent announced their partnership back in July 2019.
The game is a five-on-five MOBA for that looks to take cues from other more traditional MOBA’s on the market. You’ll run around a symmetrical map with each team having a base on each side; the twist is that you’ll be able to catch Pokémon by standing on certain capture points, as well as taking down your enemies using your Pokémon’s moves. Given the large variety of Pokémon the franchise can draw from with varying abilities, the dynamic MOBA style battles should match really well here, with all sorts of loadouts and team compositions coming into play. The game also looks to be very colourful and hopefully bring with it a more friendly community than what other MOBA’s tend to inspire.
Pikachu, Gengar, Talonflame, Snorlax, Machamp, Venusaur, Blastoise, Clefairy, Charizard and Lucario were shown on stream, but there may be other Pokémon added down the track; depending on balancing and how far they want to go with this, there’s a big enough roster they could rotate, if they wanted to use a similar style of character selection as League of Legends or DOTA 2.
We’ll have to wait and see how it all pans out; Pokémon Unite will be releasing sometime in the future on Switch and mobile devices, with no set release date yet.