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The Official Pokémon YouTube channel has announced a new Pokémon game for Android, iOS, and the Nintendo Switch. It's called Pokémon Unite, and it's a MOBA. As you would expect, you'll be tasked with collecting Pokémon as part of the MOBA's team-based online-multiplayer battle arena gameplay. Unsurprisingly, Pokémon Unite is being developed in partnership with Tencent, so I fully expect the game to land as a blatant cash grab, just like Pokémon Café Mix. Clearly, The Pokemon Company is intent on running this franchise through the mud, just so long as it can make a quick buck with lazy clones on mobile. As expected, there is no release date, no talk of target regions, and of course, nobody's mentioned anything about monetization.
If you'd like to check out the announcement video for Pokémon Unite, you can do so above. It's an eleven-minute trailer, and since it's hosted by Tsunekazu Ishihara, the entire video is dubbed in English. I suppose this English dub should signal a Western release for Pokémon Unite, but since The Pokemon Company hasn't confirmed anything, not even a release date, we'll just have to wait for more information to arise patiently. At the very least, the above video shows off gameplay while explaining mechanics, though if you're familiar with MOBAs, there's nothing too surprising in the mix.
So far all we know is that Pokémon Unite will support cross-play between the Switch and mobile versions, so at least fans should be able to expect a worthwhile player base upon release. Hopefully, in the coming months, The Pokemon Company will have more to share about Pokémon Unite, because right now I can't say yet another mobile MOBA has piqued my interest, even with a Pokémon skin slapped on top.
POKÉMON UNITE ANNNOUNCED FOR NINTENDO SWITCH AND MOBILE DEVICES
New Cross-Platform Game Is Being Developed in Partnership with Tencent Games
Tokyo, JAPAN—June 24, 2020—Today during a Pokémon Presents video presentation, Tsunekazu Ishihara, president and CEO of The Pokémon Company, unveiled Pokémon UNITE, a new game for the Nintendo Switch™ system and mobile devices. Pokémon UNITE is being developed in partnership with Tencent Games’ TiMi Studios.
Pokémon UNITE is the first strategic Pokémon team battle game. Players face off against each other in five-on-five team battles. During these battles, players will cooperate with teammates to catch wild Pokémon, level up and evolve their own Pokémon. They will need to defeat their opponents’ Pokémon while trying to earn more points than the opposing team within the allotted time. Pokémon UNITE will be free-to-start.
For more information about Pokémon UNITE, please visit Pokemon.co.uk/Unite
The Pokémon Company International, a subsidiary of The Pokémon Company in Japan, manages the property outside of Asia and is responsible for brand management, licensing, marketing, the Pokémon Trading Card Game, the animated TV series, home entertainment and the official Pokémon website. Pokémon was launched in Japan in 1996 and today is one of the most popular children’s entertainment properties in the world. For more information, please visit www.pokemon.co.uk.
About TiMi Studios
TiMi Studios, a subsidiary of Tencent Games, is a leading global video game development team headquartered in Shenzhen, China, with offices in Los Angeles, Shanghai and Chengdu, China. TiMi strives to create high-quality, high-fidelity and highly accessible games across a wide variety of genres. Founded in 2008, TiMi has developed a string of hit titles including Honor of Kings, Speed Drifters, CrossFire: Legends, Arena of Valor and most recently, Call of Duty: Mobile. To learn more about TiMi, follow us on Twitter @timistudios and Facebook @timistudiosofficial.
About Tencent Games
Tencent Games was launched in 2003 and has since grown into the leading global platform for game development, publishing and operations, as well as the operator of the largest online game community in China. It is dedicated to offering engaging, high-quality, interactive entertainment experiences for all players. Tencent Games currently offers more than 140 self-developed and licensed games across 200 countries and regions, which provides hundreds of millions of users with cross-platform interactive entertainment experiences. Honor of Kings, PUBG MOBILE and League of Legends are some of the most popular titles around the world. We are committed to exploring the full potential of games, leveraging the rich IP resources within Tencent, spanning literature, anime, film, and television, to create high-quality interactive entertainment experiences. Furthermore, Tencent Games actively collaborates with overseas game publishers, such as SEA, Netmarble, Supercell and more, to form strategic partnerships and launch new games.
The worldwide pioneer in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its Nintendo Switch home console and Nintendo 3DS™ family of portable systems. Since 1983, when it launched the Nintendo Entertainment System™, Nintendo has sold more than 4.7 billion video games and more than 740 million hardware units globally, including the Nintendo Switch™ and Nintendo 3DS family of systems, including New Nintendo 3DS™, New Nintendo 3DS XL™, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo 3DS XL™, Nintendo 2DS™, as well as Nintendo DS™, Nintendo DSi™, Nintendo DSi XL™, Game Boy™, Game Boy Advance™, Super NES™, Nintendo 64™, Nintendo GameCube™, Wii™ and Wii U™ systems. It has also created industry icons that have become well-known, household names such as Mario™, Donkey Kong™, Metroid™, Zelda™ and Pokémon™. A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of Europe, based in Germany, was established in 1990 and serves as headquarters for Nintendo's operations in Europe.
Pokémon Unite is coming to Canada as a regional beta
The Pokémon Company has announced that its upcoming Pokémon-branded MOBA will be coming to Canada in March. This will be a regional beta release for Android devices in order to test the game. Since last year's announcement (above), the developer (TiMi Studios) has claimed that it's added new Pokémon to the game while also improving the title's visuals, so it sounds like the studio has reached a point that it feels the game should be tested in a large market, hence the upcoming beta.
While we don't yet know the exact date this beta test will go live, it will happen in March and only in Canada. Those that want to participate will have to be at least 16 years old, and it's already known saves will be wiped after this test ends. It also looks like recording or streaming gameplay isn't allowed, though I'm sure videos will leak all the same. Of course, you have to wonder why TiMi Studios (and its parent company Tencent) doesn't want people to see the game in action, almost as if it would be instantly apparent the game will exist as a low-effort cash-grab. After all, if you have to keep people in the dark about your game in order to garner interest, it's doubtful your game is actually any good.
Still, whether we want it or not, Pokémon Unite is coming, and it's already listed on the Play Store, though there is currently no way to pre-register. But if you'd like to take a look at this new listing, you can simply click on the widget below to navigate to the appropriate page.