Pokemon Unite has been announced! This will be great news for some of you, but for others…? Many fans are less than happy that The Pokemon Company are collaborating with Chinese company Tencent to develop the title.
Another Pokemon Presents digital presentation, another Pokemon title that isn’t a new Mystery Dungeon. Well, we got the remaster, so I won’t be too angry. Adding to the Pokemon Snap announcement we got last week, Pokemon fans have another game to look forward to! Pokemon Unite is a League of Legends-esque team-based strategic battler.
Pokemon Unite Is A Pocket Monster Pocket MOBA
Unlike other popular MOBAs, this game features a territorial point system which seems somewhat similar to something you’d find in Battlefield’s conquest mode. You have to secure the wild area between the team’s spawns to get points, level up to unlock abilities, defeat wild Pokemon and your enemies… Everything you could dream of from a Pokemon MOBA. Well, except one thing.
Pokemon Unite is being developed by Tencent’s Timi Studios. Why is this an issue? Well, a few fans of the title are concerned over the politics of Tencent, the Chinese company at the helm of the game’s development.
Twitter user @inuteeth has discussed the company’s indirect disapproval of the Hong Kong protests. This also includes their curation of TikTok content showing any protesting.
Offering an alternate viewpoint, Twitter user @DrLavaYT has brought up Tencent’s dominance in the Chinese tech industry. He suggests that Pokemon Unite is being used primarily as a tool to introduce Pokemon and generate popularity for the series amongst the Chinese population.
The controversy amongst fans has some basis, albeit slightly unproven. In 2019, there were reports of Tencent investing in the ever-popular site Reddit. This instantly drew concern due to China’s strict censorship regime, with Reddit being blocked under this already. As we all know, Reddit remains largely uncensored, but there’s still that lingering concern. Right?
Laziness aside, data protection breaches are an important concern for you to have.
Pokemon Unite Could Be Used As A Data-Mining Tool
Although nothing has ever been confirmed, it’s been long-understood that Tencent facilitates Chinese censorship. Hackers have been digging and previously suggested that conversations had on chat apps owned by Tencent are being relayed to Chinese authorities. This information is often offered up along with user data.
Concerns were raised when Apple announced that iOS 13 would be using Tencent’s Safe Browsing systems. This would help Safari block malicious websites, ideally. This all seems fine and dandy, but Tencent may also record IP addresses. This can be used to track users, if necessary, but it probably shouldn’t be.
I am doubtful any of these protests will make any difference to Tencent’s actions or the popularity of Pokemon Unite. However, it is important to take the appropriate precautions to protect your personal data where possible.
Pokemon Unite will feature crossplay and be available on Nintendo Switch and Mobile Devices. It is a free-to-start title with no announced release date.