'Pokémon Unite' Is Getting a Ton of Hate and Fans Saw It Coming a Mile Away

'Pokémon Unite' is the Pocket Monster mobile game that has fans of the franchise a little more than irked: here's why there's backlash.

Mustafa Gatollari - Author

Mar. 12 2021, Updated 12:08 p.m. ET

Pokemon Unite
Source: Nintendo

Want to know a surefire way to upset fans of a long-running franchise? Well, take a lesson out of Pokémon Unite's page book to maximize the backlash on a new launch title you've got planned.

When Pokeémon Go! was first announced, throngs of people were ecstatic to try out a new title from The Pokémon Company on their mobile phones. It was hard to not get tantalized by the prospect of traveling to actual parts of the globe and seeing which monsters pop up.

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So why the backlash to 'Pokémon Unite'?

It's not that fans necessarily think that that Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) Pokémon game is going to stink. If there's one thing that The Pokémon Company has proven time and again it's that, more often than not, whenever they put out a new title, it's usually very, very well executed.

People seem to have taken issue with the fact that the game is "overhyped."

Pokémon Unite was unveiled in a ridiculously detailed 11-minute video livestream to generate excitement for the title. Some fans think that while a Pokémon game that allows for MOBA, cross-platform action between both Switch and mobile gamers is really cool, basically LoL but with Pokémon, there were a lot of longtime fans of the series who believe that Nintendo was gassing it up way too much.

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pokemon unite backlash
Source: Nintendo
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It didn't help either that prior to the event, Nintendo and the Pokémon Company were alerting fans that something absolutely tremendous was coming that would positively rock their worlds. When they discovered that all the 11-minute video presentation was, again, just Pokémon Unite and nothing else, no other titles, or peripherals, or other Pokémon-related news, people got seriously salty.

Some people aren't all that jazzed 'Pokémon Unite' will be on the Nintendo Switch.

Some are saying all the hate geared at PU is understandable because, ultimately, Pokémon Unite is a free-to-start mobile game (like Fortnite), that Switch players can enjoy on their console too. 

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It also doesn't help that Nintendo had recently just said that they were going to "step back" from mobile gaming in the near future, which had fans thinking that they were going to double down on their Nintendo Switch gaming efforts.

The Switch is a really interesting console for Nintendo, in that it combines its biggest moneymaker (their handheld systems), with the notion of the "real" console.

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This means that the A-tier titles that help to define a gaming brand are essentially available on both the handheld and home consoles simultaneously as they are one and the same.

It's difficult to imagine that Nintendo will stray too much from this business model in the near future.

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Finally, one of the more recent criticisms of Pokémon Unite after people had some more time to digest the reveal, is that it doesn't really feel like a particularly Pokémon-ey game, with folks saying it was more a League of Legends clone than anything else.

What do you think? Are you still excited for Pokémon Unite even if a bunch of people are dunking on it?

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