The Pokémon Company announced today that it’s releasing its newest title, Pokémon Unite, this summer on both Switch and mobiles. The Switch version will launch first this July, with the game coming to mobile platforms (which presumably means iOS and Android) in September. It’ll have a battle pass as well as several in-game cosmetics.
Pokémon Unite is a five-vs-five strategy game that the trailer would have you believe looks like Rocket League, with frenetic pocket monster action, but that’s a bit misleading. It’s actually more like a MOBA game, with a top-down perspective where the player controls their Pokémon alongside four teammates in an arena in a place called Aeos Island. Your Pokémon in the battles don’t evolve the way “normal” Pokémon do. At the beginning of every battle they begin at level one, and you can evolve them during the battle with Aeos energy. That same Aeos energy is how you score points, as you gather it up and then deposit it in your opponent’s goal zones.
When it was initially revealed, the idea of a Pokémon MOBA wasn’t really impressing anyone, and users reacted with disdain at the notion. Pick any upload of the first official trailer, and you can usually find a high dislike ratio. The announcement trailer today was received a bit more kindly, but some still have reservations about the upcoming title.
One source of potential discomfort is that the game is “free-to-start,” meaning it has microtransactions. There are several types of currency the player can use in-game, with one of them (Aeos Gems) being purchasable with real money. According to the Unite site, Gems can be used to purchase “more Pokémon, as well as outfits for your Trainer and Holowear for your Pokémon.” Other than the “more Pokémon” part, it sounds like you’ll mostly be spending them on cosmetics.
Source: Pokémon Unite