Beijing (PingWest)- The Nintendo backed “The Pokemon Company” on Wednesday announced a new cross-platform Pokemon game in partnership with Tencent’s Timi Studio. The new game called Pokemon Unite will be available for smartphones and Nintendo Switch console.
Pokemon Unite is a five-on-five team battle game or so called multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA). It will be released for free with in-game purchases, but it doesn’t have a release date yet.
Pokemon Unite allows player to compete in five-versus-five battles, using Pokemon characters like Pikachu to battle wild Pokemon and capture enemy’s territory while defending their own from attack. The game is similar in style and game player to popular game League of Legends, which is developed by Riot games and now is owned by Tencent.
In July 2019, Tencent said its Shenzhen-based Timi Studio was working on a new Pokemon title, the game would align with its overseas expansion, and Nintendo’s announcement just confirm that.
Pokemon is the highest-grossing media franchise of all time, with earnings of more than USD90 billion driven by games, film adaptations and merchandise, according to a TitleMax report.
Tencent has been teaming up with Japanese game companies to distribute games and learn experiences for developing good console game franchises. It has invested in Japanese console game developer Marvelous for USD65 million, as well as made investment into PlatinumGames for undisclosed amount.
Tencent has high hope for the jointly-developed new game as it will allow it to foray into the console sector and expand its presence outside its home market.
Tencent’s gaming sector is well known for popular mobile titles, such as Honour of Kings, which has achieved huge success in Asian countries. However, Tencent lacks presences in console game titles especially Triple-A video games.
Most recently, Tencent has ramp up its effort to increase its presence in the video game industry, it has hired Halo 4 chief designer Scott Warner to head Tencent’s North American locations dedicated to AAA games under TiMi Studios.
Scoot Warner has been in the industry for over 20 years, working in design and game direction at companies including Black Isle Studios, Pandemic Studios, EA and most recently Ubisoft. He played major roles in various video games including Fallout 2, Halo 4 and Battlefield: Hardline.
Tencent won a key approval in April last year to start selling the Nintendo Switch in China, paving the way for the console to enter the world’s largest video games market two years after it was first released worldwide
After Tencent won greenlight from Chinese regulator, it has begun to distribute Nintendo Switch on the mainland Chinese market from December 10, 2019.