Pokémon Unite, the unusual merger of Pokémon and MOBAs that Tencent and TiMi Studios announced last year, now has a launch window. The Switch version of the game will release in July, to be followed by mobile versions in September. The release announcement stated that cross-play between Switch and mobile devices “is planned,” though it’s not certain if that will be the case at launch or at some later time.
Pokémon Unite will also make use of your Nintendo Account or Pokémon Trainer Club account by letting you play on any device, such as your TV screen if using the Nintendo Switch version.
When we last talked about the game, we speculated on its MOBA-ness with the trailer that was then available, which we described as having “a nearly 10-to-1 downvote-to-upvote ratio on YouTube.” That video is curiously no longer available, and the new trailer, embedded below, has inverted that ratio.
In addition to the cinematics, it shows off some gameplay, and you can learn more about the mechanics in an overview on the website. It does strongly resemble a MOBA — 5v5 battles and all — but with the added twist of a hoop you’ll need to toss a ball through to score, akin to basketball. That “ball” is formed from Aeos energy that you receive by defeating wild Pokémon in the field, so you’re basically hurling the life force of dead Pokémon through a hoop for entertainment. Like that world wasn’t gruesome enough.
(Also, Pikachu is clearly goaltending in the video, so Cinderace should be awarded the points. C’mon, refs!)