Pokémon Unite Impressions: Will it Succeed or Fail Miserably?

Pokémon Unite Impressions

What’s up, guys? Have you seen that Pokémon Unite reveal? What do you think of it? Isn’t The Pokémon Company about eight years too late to the MOBA party? Is this going to be a massive wreck or is there some hope for it? What’s next, a Pokémon Battle Royale game in ten years or so? Having Tencent tied to it probably contributed in part to the amount of dislikes in the reveal video, but the Chinese publisher isn’t a stranger to this sort of reception – after all, they’re the ones behind the Diablo Immortal backlash. Still, let’s give Pokémon Unite a chance, mostly because it is under development at TiMi Studios, the team that made the insanely good Call of Duty Mobile. Let’s investigate what this game has going for it with our Pokémon Unite impressions.

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Pokémon Unite is the game that no one asked for, and yet it is likely to be another big hit among fans of the series. The backlash is notorious, mostly because Pokémon fans were expecting another kind of reveal, something more in sync with their idea of the perfect Pokémon adventure. However, it seems that many players are slowly letting it sink in and finding qualities in this MOBA. The horizontal map is a nice change from the traditional isometric layout, and the color, personality, and versatility of the Pokémon is more than enough to provide tons of different tactics and teamwork. I mean, there are nearly a thousand Pokémon from various generations, so it’s not like there’s a lack of source material to create a rich MOBA. The question here is how the community will react to which characters are chosen.

By this I don’t mean that I expect to see tons of playable Pokémon right away. However, I hope that there are way more than the ten or so that were shown in the trailer. The potential is there, and here’s why I think that Pokémon Unite is going to be huge.

First of all, MOBAs are still very popular and lucrative, and despite the lower competition, you do need a twist to make your game stand out from the crowd – that twist is Pokémon. Furthermore, the beloved franchise captures the hearts and minds of younger and older players, so there is no true limit to its market reach. Finally, making it free-to-play… I mean, free-to-start because that’s a new and trendy label that Nintendo loves to use, will place it in the hands of millions of players. No entry fee, cross-platform support for Nintendo Switch and mobile platforms… it’s like Pokémon Go, everyone will get it to see if it’s any good, and the next thing you notice is that it is skyrocketing to the top of the charts.

Dads will play it. Kids will play it. Reluctant Pokémon fans who were hoping for a reveal of their dream game will give it a shot. Some of them never cared for MOBAs before but will love Pokémon Unite to pieces. This game is going to be incredibly huge in China, and also big in other regions, but it’s in the Chinese market that it is absolutely going to crush it.

Tencent’s TiMi Studios knows what makes a MOBA tick, since it has developed the extremely successful mobile game Honor of Kings, which you may know as Arena of Valor. In 2017, it was considered the world’s highest-grossing game of all time, so these guys probably know a thing or two about the genre.

As for my opinion on Pokémon Unite… I find it to be a wise decision from The Pokémon Company, solely looking at the commercial side of things. I’m going to try it, I want to see how big it gets, and if there is going to be an eSports scene for a game that sounds as mainstream as they come. I want to see if they nail the balance between such disparate characters, how everyone is going to feel about directly controlling the Pokémon instead of the trainers, and how the game performs after the initial two or three months, when the novelty has worn off.

The Pokémon franchise is as big as ever, and Pokémon Unite must now rise beyond its obvious cash-in nature. Make it fun, deep, and accessible, and everyone is going to forgive them for being almost a decade late to the party; I don’t care about trends, I only care about fun, and that’s what I hope this game is all about. We’ll get to know pretty soon, and thank you for watching our Pokémon Unite impressions. What do you guys think?

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