“Pokémon” Unite becomes a mobile hit

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The “Pokémon” series now has its biggest mobile hit since “Pokémon Go,” thanks to the massive launch of “Pokémon Unite,” a game whose announcement last year was greeted with derision by die-hard fans.

Why is this important: “Unite” is far from being an outsider. It’s a flex of some of the most powerful companies and brands in the game.

  • It takes some of the world’s most popular fictional characters (Pokémon) … places them in one of the world’s most popular video game genres (MOBA – competitive track games involving teams of heroes in competition, to the “League of Legends”)… .in a game co-developed by one of the world’s most successful game studios in this genre (TiMi from Tencent).

In numbers : “Unite” has been downloaded more than 30 million times since its mobile launch on September 22, according to Sensor Tower.

  • It’s better than TiMi’s big “Honor of Kings” MOBA, launched in 2015. Sensor Tower says the game has exceeded $ 10 billion in player spending.
  • On its first day on phones, “Unite” claimed the # 1 spot on most downloaded app store lists in 62 countries, according to tracker App Annie.
  • All of this after the free-to-play Nintendo Switch launched in July.
Image: The Pokémon Company

Fan skepticism struck early: When “Unite” was announced last year, many “Pokémon” fans complained, voting against the game’s first trailer 161,000 times, before the Pokémon Company removed it and re-uploaded it.

  • The re-uploaded trailer was also moved, with comments such as, “Stop trying to make Unite a reality. It’s not going to happen. “
  • But it turns out that the game is pretty fun, as Axios Gaming’s Megan Farokhmanesh recently attested.

What they say : “I really think it’s great, but I would say people have a love-hate relationship with it,” says Kotaku editor-in-chief Patricia Hernandez, a former colleague who is one of the smartest (and shrill entertaining) Pokémon experts out there.

  • Hernandez said some fans have struggled with the game, in part because the MOBA genre – which requires players to learn character movements and understand how to function as a successful team – is so demanding.
  • But some have also backed down from the game’s aggressive monetization schemes, which have caused gamers to pay to move forward and have been toned down for the mobile launch.
  • “The reality is that MOBAs are horrible in terms of their stockings,” she noted. “But the highs!”


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