Today The Pokémon Company held a Pokémon Presents presentation that revealed Pokemon Unite, a Multi-player Online Battle Arena (MOBA) game that is in development for Nintendo Switch and Smart Devices. The game is being developed by Tencent’s Timi Studio Group, the developers of the popular Arena of Valor a MOBA for smart devices and Nintendo Switch; making Pokémon Unite the result of the development partnership that was announced last year.
Pokémon Unite will have many of the standard features of the MOBA genre, two 5-player teams will compete against each other on a map to battle using unique skills and abilities to secure objectives that lead to victory. In Pokemon Unite the players each pick a Pokémon to play as and throughout the match they battle and catch wild Pokémon to gain experience points to level up and learn new moves and even evolve. Beating wild Pokémon also contributes points towards game objectives.
The leveling system in Pokémon Unite has a twist of customization. Players can pick and choose the style of moves they learn as they level up, such as picking more close-range melee attacks, or opting for more ranged distance attacks. This way two players using the exact same Pokémon can have entirely different movesets depending on how the player chooses to level up during the match.
Tencent’s experience with Arena of Valor shows up again as the game will be free-to-start and will feature cross-play between the mobile device version and the Nintendo Switch version. There has been no announcement of the final starting roster of Pokémon. The trailer features 10 Pokémon so far, Venusaur, Charizard, Blastoise, Pikachu, Clefable, Machamp, Gengar, Snorlax, Lucario, and Talonflame. There may be more characters available at the time of release. The free-to-start model suggests that this game will have a monetization model similar to other MOBA games. Where players can purchase cosmetic skins for Pokémon, and can opt to purchase or grind in-game for new characters as they are released.
No release date has been announced for Pokémon Unite, the presentation promises that more details on the release will be coming in the future.