Pokémon Unite angers Pokémon Fans across the globe

Pokémon Unite MOBA
Pokémon Unite

Once again, Pokémon fans are up in arms. Yesterday’s announcement of Pokémon Unite, a new mobile and Switch MOBA game, got a large number of fans disappointed and angered. If you’re just focused on Pokémon GO, like the author of this article is, you are probably surprised to read this. Why would Pokémon fans be angered by a new Pokémon game?

Well, the answer to that is a bit convoluted, but there are plenty of reasons fans outlined on reddit that are worth talking about. We usually write just a post or two about other Pokémon games on GO Hub, and I think this could be the last post about Unite if the general feeling about this game doesn’t change dramatically.

What’s going on?

During the first Pokémon Presents (last week), TPCI shared that they are working on another big title, which mandates its own Pokémon Presents web show, rather than being shown side by side with other properties. Namely, last week we got an announcement of Smile, Cafe, and a new Pokemon Snap.

Fans expectations on what this secretive announcement could be went in all directions, but most hoped that Diamond and Pearl remakes will be finally announced. Fans have spent years asking remakes of the original Sinnoh region games, but TPCI has ignored those requests adamantly.

But alas, Pokémon Unite was announced, a mobile game developed in partnership with Tencent, a Chinese company notorious for their microtransactions policy. At first, it seemed that only the western audience was enraged, but after researching a bit deeper it seems that Pokémon fans from the East and from the West are equally disappointed, but for different reasons:

  • The Western audience had too high expectations and hoped to get full fledged remakes, rather than a free-to-play mobile game
  • The Eastern audience is infuriated by the Tencent partnership, and given Tencent’s reputation, that’s no surprise

Just taking a casual look at the likes and dislikes ratio on YouTube shows how divisive the announcement was (79k likes, 135k dislikes at the moment of publication):

The whole situations looks a lot like Blizzard’s Diablo Immortal situation:

  • Misaligned expectations and overhyped announcement
  • The developers are seemingly out of touch with their fan base
  • A hard push towards a popular mobile genre
  • Partnership with a third party developer with questionable reputation

YongYea shared a well put together video explaining the core mechanics of Pokémon Unite and why fans are so enraged:

Who’s right?

Well… that’s a hard question to answer. The Pokémon Company’s push into mobile space is understandable, given how much money is there to be made in mobile. The fans are also entitled to their opinion, and in their opinion, this is a game nobody asked for.

What are your thoughts on the matter? Let us know in the comments below!

Antonio started the Hub in July 2016 and hasn't had much sleep since. Software developer. Discord username: Zeroghan. 28 years old.