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Monday, October 4, 2021

Tencent's Got ≥25 million Nintendo Switch + Mobile suckers with Pokémon UNITE

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - And some third party estimates are way higher. They're stuffing the Pokémon Bank for sure.

When I wrote “Tencent's Got ≥9 million Nintendo Switch suckers with Pokémon UNITE” two and a half weeks ago, I really didn't expect that 9 million to increase so dramatically so quickly. The mobile version wasn't out yet—just the Switch version. But now it is. And now the official count is at over 25 million Pokémon UNITE downloads across all platforms:

Why, why people? There were five million mobile pre-registrations, but it seems like many times more mobile gamers downloaded Pokémon UNITE than just the pre-registrants. And if mobile data firm Sensor Tower is to be believed, the game has been downloaded on mobile over 30 million times, which makes the total at least over 39 million. That also makes it the most popular mobile MOBA launch in the genre's history. Obviously, Tencent's strategy of preying on Pokémon-loving children (outside of China, since they're restricted within China) is working very well. KoopaTV is powerless to stop this, unfortunately. I wish it weren't so.

So what is Tencent doing with that? Well, check out this cosmetic (not pay-to-win) item:

For 2,499 Aeos Gems, you can have Sacred Style Alolan Ninetales with customised visual effects for moves, KOs, returns, goals, and Unite Moves. How much is 2,499 Aeos Gems? Well, the closest microtransaction bundle is for 2,740 Gems, which costs $39.99. The next closest micro-transaction bundle is for 1,220 Gems, which costs $19.99. Two of those will only get you to 2,440 Gems, so... it's in your best interest to pay that $40 bundle to get over the the 2,499 mark.

$40 for a cosmetic item? Sheesh. It's currently the most expensive Holowear in the game, though there are others going for 1,200 Gems (so $20), like Suit Style Venusaur that really gives that Pokémon Bank look. (Eight years ago, I made a big deal about how Mega Venusaur looks like a Jew running the Pokémon Bank because it grows a pink flower on its head that resembles a kippah or yarmulke. I think in 2021 I can finally complete the look...)

Pokémon UNITE Bank Mega Venusaur Suit Style Holowear Jewish Israeli New Shekels kippah yarmulke
70 Israeli New Shekels will handle the cost of the 1,220 Aeos Gems bundle to purchase Venusaur's Suit Style Holowear.
...Well, I am happy about this render, at least. I wouldn't pay to see it on a tiny mobile screen, though.
(Or on a docked Switch monitor.)

Do you think Pokémon Banker Venusaur by himself warrants the use of this article being an Artistic Corner category article? Unrelated question: do you believe that Pokémon UNITE deserves and has earned all of this positive (from downloaders, not from KoopaTV) attention? No word yet on how many of those millions of downloaders are paying anything, or how many are still regularly playing the game. Perhaps they downloaded it once and never touched it again—though that's still enough to give quite a number of personally identifiable permissions to Tencent.

The Pokémon Sirfetch'd is also portrayed as Jewish, though with more attention put to its lore than Venusaur.


  1. I’m not against free to start games, as Nintendo calls them, but this level of micro transactions is just ridiculous. I’d expect this from EA not the big N!

    Despite this I would like some more Nintendo mobile games, if only to promote the IP.

    1. At least for Pokémon, my net respect for that franchise has only plummeted thanks to its mobile outings. <_<


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