Pokemon Unite is not what Pokemon Fans were Expecting

The Pokemon Company announced last week that not only was a Pokemon Snap sequel coming to Nintendo Switch, but that even more Pokemon news was on the way. On Wednesday we got to hear what that was all about. It turns out that The Pokemon Company is working with Tencent — a giant Chinese conglomerate that owns Riot Games — on a new Pokemon game called Pokemon Unite.

It’s League of Legends, but with Pokemon! As someone who has never played LoL, I’m nonplussed. This is another example of Pokemon trying to do something that doesn’t feel like Pokemon. Sure, the game lets you catch and evolve popular monsters, but really Pokemon Unite is about taking an already-existing popular game formula and slapping the Pokemon brand on it.

That’s the downside of Pokemon becoming the international sensation that it’s become over the years. Anything with the Pokemon brand has a chance to be very successful — just look at Pokemon Go — and The Pokemon Company is going to continue to explore opportunities to expand and make Pokemon ever more popular.

The good news is that fans like me who fell in love with the original Pokemon RPGs can continue to enjoy the main line of games that continue to be wildly successful. With The Pokemon Company partnering with a company that owns League of Legends developer Riot Games, there shouldn’t be many resources taken away from creating the next big Pokemon RPG.

Speaking of which, it sounds like we won’t be getting another classic Pokemon adventure until 2021 at the earliest now that The Pokemon Company has wrapped up its summer announcements.

That was from Tuesday night. Joe turned out to be right in that many fans are disappointed in the Pokemon Unite announcement. However, I wouldn’t have been totally thrilled with a “Let’s Go Johto” announcement either. As someone who wasn’t enthralled by the Pokemon Let’s Go games — the motion controls were unreliable and modern features like breeding and abilities were left out — I’m hoping that the next big announcement is for something that returns us to Generation IV’s Sinnoh region.

We’ll probably have to wait a little while for that, though. Until then, maybe Pokemon Unite will inspire me to finally try to understand what goes on in League of Legends matches.

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