Yesterday Pokémon Unite was unveiled to the world in a very short livestream on the official Pokémon YouTube channel. To say that the reception from the community has been negative would be a very kind way to phrase it.
From reading through all comments on various forums and social media platforms the reaction seems to come from two areas.
Firstly are the problems inherent to the game. It doesn’t seem like “Pokémon MOBA” is something anyone was asking for. If you subscribe to the theory of “people don’t know what they want until someone makes it”, which is fair, then on that front Pokémon Unite just didn’t impress with its samey graphics and gameplay. The fact that the game is being developed by a Tencent subsidiary (TiMi Studio) doesn’t help either.
Secondly there’ the issue of expectations, which we suspect has been the real killer here. Last week when a trio of new games was announced those watching were told to wait until now for a big, new announcement. This caused a week of excitement for the hype train to pick up speed, and when Unite came around a derailment was inevitable.
All of this has been exasperated by many factors. Sword and Shield has remained a divisive release in the community, the Isle of Armor DLC has overall failed to cause waves and a focal part of the community has been hoping for a remaster of the Generation IV games Diamond, Pearl and Platinum. There’s also the whole issue of the Nintendo Direct drought that has been going on for months.
Aside from some snide and funny comments about this, some of them we’ve embedded below, you can see the impact of this on YouTube where the announcement was made. At the time of writing the four trailers for Unite are sitting at 166K, 23K, 54K and 9.3K dislikes. On all four videos the amount of dislikes greatly outnumber the likes.
Oh, and for people wondering about the header image above, it’s this classic bit from Malcolm in the Middle which is rather applicable here.