The Pokemon Company today announced Pokemon Unite, a new "free-to-start" multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) developed in partnership with Tencent Games' TiMi Studios. TiMi Studios, if you're not familiar, is perhaps best known for its work on Arena of Valor, a popular mobile MOBA, as well as Call of Duty: Mobile. As with any game that steps far from what the Pokemon franchise has done before, reactions have been mixed, to say the least. However, the developer of Unite has released a statement alongside the announcement that indicates it is taking its responsibility very seriously.
"Pokemon UNITE is Pokemon's first team battle game," the statement reads in part. "TiMi Studios is honored to part with The Pokemon Company to develop this game. We are excited to provide a cross platform experience on Nintendo Switch and mobile devices that will allow more ways for people to play together."
This is a new and challenging endeavor for @TiMiStudios. #PokémonUNITE offers a new twist on team battles, with a focus on the inherent fun of playing with Pokémon, offering battling, capturing and training Pokémon to evolve.https://t.co/q3yPmwXvsa pic.twitter.com/hCHn35upzi— TiMi Studios (@timistudios) June 24, 2020
The statement goes on to call Unite "a new and challenging endeavor." Which, again, as the first game of its kind for the franchise, is kind of an understatement. Rather than call it a MOBA, Pokemon's messaging refers to Pokemon Unite as a five-on-five team battle game where players can catch wild Pokemon, level up and evolve their own, and fight the opposing team."
"Pokemon is cherished by players of all ages around the world," the statement continues. "We have been hard at work to allow for an entirely new way to experience Pokemon that is fun for players of different backgrounds to play over and over again. The final gameplay is still under development and we hope that you will stay tuned for more details. We hope that you enjoy this new Pokemon experience and will share your feedback with us."
Pokemon Unite is, as noted above, a "free-to-start" video game that will release for Nintendo Switch and mobile devices. No definitive release date has been announced as of yet. You can check out all of our previous coverage of the Pokemon franchise right here.
What do you think of what we've seen of Pokemon Unite so far? Are you excited about it? Let us know in the comments, or hit me up directly on Twitter at @rollinbishop to talk all things gaming!