Fans of the MOBA Pokémon Unite received new information this morning about what features will be added alongside the game’s September 22 mobile launch. While there are plenty of changes to keep the game feeling fresh, a letter from Unite’s producer makes it seem like an even more important update is on the horizon: a play mode that would negate “pay-to-win.”
Since its release, Pokémon Unite has received criticism from many players that the ability to use real-life money to quickly level up held battle items gave those willing to pay an unfair advantage. Highly-leveled held items can give players an upper edge by greatly increasing stats like attack, defense, and HP, or by giving Pokémon abilities like a shield under special circumstances. Players can update these items by simply playing matches, but that method takes significantly longer than throwing money at the game.
In a letter to Unite players about the update, producer Masaaki Hoshino mentioned that the Unite team is “developing a new mode of play designed to level the playing field for all Trainers, regardless of their held items’ grades.” This new mode seems to directly target concerns over these “pay-to-win” mechanics.
While this mode will not be ready for the game’s immanent revamp, Unite players will not have to wait until it launches to see improvement. Hoshino also said that a key feature of the new update is “new in-game events in which you can get super item enhancers that can upgrade a held item to grade 30.” The game has also “made it easier for all Trainers to get item enhancers.” Exactly how it will be easier to get item enhancers, which allow held items to be leveled up, remains to be seen. But hopefully, the result will be a more even playing field throughout the game.