The Pokémon Company have confirmed that the next major instalment in their world-beating franchise, Pokémon Unite, will be released on Nintendo Switch in July.
They have yet to announce exactly when it will be available, though revealed that the mobile versions for Apple iOS and Android won’t be arriving until later this year in September.
So, what is Pokémon Unite exactly? This new game in the pocket monsters series will go head to head with Dota 2 and League of Legends as it attempts to enter the MOBA genre. For those with limited knowledge MOBAs, they are a competitive mutation of the traditional real-time strategy game that have you controlling powerful heroes instead of entire armies. In Pokémon Unite, two teams of five trainers will clash, looking to strategically take down their opponents to score points.
Here are the official rules:
Unite Battles are where Trainers and their partner Pokémon compete in 5-on-5 team battles. The key to victory in a Unite Battle is to have a higher score than the other team when time runs out. To earn points for your team, you must gather Aeos energy by defeating wild and opposing Pokémon and then deposit that energy in one of the opposing team’s goal zones. Unite Battles take place in various stadiums, and the rules for each stadium differ. There can be different numbers of team members, different match lengths, and even different Legendary Pokémon that appear.
Pokémon Unite will be completely free to download and play though expect to feel a familiar tug towards spending real money on microtransactions. It’s being developed by Tencent and will offer cross-platform online play between the Nintendo Switch and mobile devices.
Many popular licenses have attempted to step into the MOBA genre over the years including DC, Marvel, Star Wars, and Transformers. Pokémon Unite has the natural advantage of being based on a video game franchise and has already started to cherry pick its roster of playable monsters.