Pokkén Tournament Is Currently 30% Through Development

By Sato . September 3, 2014 . 11:01am


The Pokémon Company recently revealed Pokkén Tournament, an upcoming arcade fighting game developed by Bandai Namco featuring Pokémon. In this week’s issue of Famitsu magazine, the game’s key developers share more information on the game.


The developers in question are Pokémon Company CEO and president Tsunekazu Ishihara, Tekken series chief producer Katsuhiro Harada, and Soulcalibur producer Masaaki Hoshino. You can also read their individual thoughts on the game in our earlier report.


During the interview, Famitsu ask Ishihara what parts of the game he personally thinks are its biggest highlights and appeal.


“I believe that this project’s most entertaining and refreshing aspect is about being able to move your own Pokémon and watch them react and pull off moves in full-frame, and the freshness of real-time. We’re working on making those aspects as enthralling and fun as possible,” Ishihara replies.


Famitsu point out that the trailer shows what appears to be Lucario changing his form with a Mega Evolution, and ask if the feature is in the game.


“Yes, Mega Evolutions are implemented in the game,” responds Hoshino. “I believe you might be able to tell just by watching the trailer, but when Lucario changes forms, that’s the Mega Evolution.”


Famitsu then notes that starting with Mega Evolutions, the game sounds like it’ll have plenty of Pokémon-like features.


“And that’s not all, we’re also adding things that would fit in well with this game’s characteristics,” says Hoshino.



“When you think about Mega Evolution, there are those [Pokémon] that do Mega Evolve and those that don’t, so you might wonder what happens to the ones that don’t,” says Harada. “We’ve already thought of plenty of things like that since the early planning stage, in order to make it more like a Pokémon game.


“That’s how we’re thinking of shaping this game into one with an emphasis on Pokémon’s way of playing, along with many of the game’s own ideas as well,” he adds.


Next, Famitsu asks about how many Pokémon can we expect to see participate in Pokkén Tournament.


“Over the 700 total Pokémon… is what I’d like to say, but the development wouldn’t be done on time by the time we decided,” responds Harada with a laugh. “We expect it to be a little more limited.”


“That said, I believe that the general direction that current fighting games are trending towards having more characters,” adds Hoshino. “I also believe that getting a grasp of how to play as all the characters is a big part of the fun, and as far expanding that goes, we’re thinking of starting with Pokémon that are easy to understand, and with a nice range of movements and ways to play.”


Famitsu then ask if there’s a possibility we could see characters from the Tekken series make an appearance.


“This time, it’s a battle that takes place in the world of Pokémon, so we’re not thinking about having Tekken characters appear. However, once you play it, then there might be some sort of hidden elements that could bring a smile to fans of the Tekken series,” answers Hoshino with a laugh.


When asked how far along the development is for Pokkén Tournament, Hoshino says that they’re currently at about 30% complete, and that they’re currently taking their time working on a new system, while putting their cultivated know-how to its full potential.


Harada also says that the game’s first demo will be sometime in 2015, as they’d like to take the rest of this year to work thoroughly on the game.


Famitsu ask Ishihara if he could share a little more on his thoughts of having a Pokémon title going into arcades.


“As far as it being an arcade game goes, my strongest hope is for it to be a high-end game where players can experience getting to play as Pokémon in full motion,” says Ishihara. “Again, the Pokémon World Championship that is held each year that focuses on players going against each other in Pokémon games, and I’d like to see Pokkén be added as one of the important titles to those Pokémon battles.”


Pokkén Tournament will be released in Japan in 2015 for arcades.

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  • Nice, I’ll be looking forward to that demo. Pokken seems like it’s going to really stand out in the Pokemon series.


      for about a week or two sadly, unless they make it complex enough for people to want to get good at it and keep playing, gonna be hard without your typical mixup

      • Tre W

        Not too worried about that. Harada and his team making the game for arcades first would do a lot to insure that they’re going to design a game that will give people good reason to keep going back to GameCenters and dropping their coins into the machine.

        You don’t get that if the game isn’t good. Otherwise, you won’t have too many arcade operators buying your machine. Which is bad for business.

      • k.b.a.

        harada and his tekken crew are making this. not the naruto cyberconnect team or whoever is responsible for the likes of saint seiya, dragon ball, and whatever recent ‘fighters’ namco has been churning out. im sure the fans find them fun, but the depth was tossed out of the window

      • ForteWily

        Well that is a double edge sword. What has kept some people (including myself) away from the Tekken series is it’s complexity.

        Not I am not saying that Pokken will be that, but there will be a middle ground that has to be hit… it needs to be complex enough to keep people’s interest, but not turn them off immediately with too much complexity.

        What makes this worse is the fact that it’s very likely that someone familiar with the Pokemon franchise will be the first people touching this game, similar to that of Persona 4 Arena. That is to say, Harada should expect some players to be someone, at best, unfamiliar with tekken and how it works… at worse, never touched a video game in their life.
        In a word, Harada has quite the challenge a head of himself with this project. I am eager to see if he can rise to it.


          Dont you get it? its not that it could be hard to play but the reason why it wont last because it doesnt have what basic fighters has, it probably wont have stat progression like pokemon has so I question if its a simple fighting game why keep on playing? Like I said, it’ll only be played for like a month before it dies. and the roster being small due to completely new assets.

          • ForteWily

            Woah… now hold on, you have a build of this thing? Because I can’t say that this doesn’t have what a basic fighter does, based on a pre-alpha demo. No one can.

            I look at this in the same manner like of like Persona 4 Arena in a sense. In that ultimately, the people that will keep playing this are Pokemon fans in the same what the most that I find still playing Persona 4 Arena are fans of the series Persona (Namely 3 and 4). What they find to keep them going will be anyone’s guess… but passion will be a theme.

          • Melwwzas MZS

            i dont consider the game being a bad FightingGame at all.
            well basicaly the purpose of a mixup is to open te opponent’s deffense , assuming that it dont have high mid lows mixups, it doesn’t mean that your opponent would be abble to block you foreve, i don’t know what they would do(probably they are trying to add an original different system making it more original)
            but you can open your opponent’s deffense from various other ways:frame traps, guard brake system, cross ups,and more important chip damage and throws.

      • ishyg

        Unless you count in children. They would play it. But as I remember, kids nowadays usually play games that offer them some sort of collectible as they play, like those of Yokai Watch’s and Pokemon Tretta’s.

  • Mnstrzero00

    This totally should have been a 2d fighter. They should have gotten Aksys to do it.

    • Guillermo Oliva III


    • James Robert Thompson

      There wouldn’t have been anywhere near the excitement if it was. Moreover ASW, who I assume you’re referring too (Aksys are a publisher), are not as newbie friendly, meaning it would lack the general audience appeal, while also making it harder for them to abandon low/mid/high, which is practically necessary in a game with so many potential quadrupeds.

      • PowerSerg

        If it was Aksys we would have that sweet sweet on disc DLC.

      • ForteWily

        Person 4 Arena and Ultimax says they are a capable. That said, I don’t think that they would be able to do something like Pokken… there is way too much scrutiny involved.
        For P4A and P4AU, Atlus left ASW alone on the fighting game half of the game. The Pokemon Company (and through that both Game Freak and Nintendo) has much to say about how their property is handled… that is a lot of pressure to be under.

    • XypherCode

      We don’t even know if we play the game in a 2/2.5D plane like with traditional fighters like Tekken or DOA. I’ve read they’re making this more like an action game as well. So we might be able to play it in third person over the shoulder scheme like with 3D mode in SSFIV on 3DS.

    • Guest

      There’s already one called “Pokemon : Type Wild”. Have a look:


      Also, Gardevoir cosplays for her victory poses in the game. How awesome is that? I demand that they add a cosplay-Gardevoir in Pokken as well!!

    • Eder García

      Arksys should have made the game for PS consoles only

    • Afternoon Intergalactic

      With the roster that we are talking for this game the price for illustrating high quality sprites for each fighter would be astronomical. This is probably the best option for a Pokemon fighter.

  • Vallen

    This game seems a little far away at the moment. I think I’ll try to forget about it since there wont be news for a while it seems. Guess we’ll be getting more news once the demo comes in 2015, so there is something to look forward to

  • DudeJericho

    Hope they take their time and finely tune everything, but with these guys behind this project I know it’ll turn out great. Can’t wait for this!

  • Freakmasta

    No Tekken characters but throw in some reference for Tekken fans? So does that mean this Pokken tournament will be sponsored by Mishima Zaibatsu?

    • Kelohmello

      Probably something more along the lines of Ditto having the functionality of Mokujin or like, an Electabuzz having Electric Wind God Fist.

      • Renzo-senpai

        ^ This so much. I would love to see that xD

      • Freakmasta

        Then Electabuzz/Electavire would be high-tier.

    • Mastery

      Clearly, this is an AU where Tekken characters are Pokemon trainers.

  • subsamuel01

    30% through development for arcades, if they ever port it too Wii U we probably won’t see it for a long time unless their working on both together.

    • leingod

      I’d love if they do port it to Wii U, though.

  • XypherCode

    If you consider the individual traits of each Pokemon (eg. types/moves) + Mega Evolution + Roster count + Combat System, I’m guessing the game balancers and testers at Bandai Namco won’t be having any proper sleep for quite a while. XD

    As far as the roster goes, I’m very game for character DLC. :)

  • SetzerGabbiani

    When we inevitably get more Pokemon Amiibos (Lucario), I can see data from this game interacting with Smash (and vice versa) in some way since Namco is developing both of them. Maybe even just save data from the system…who knows?

    • ForteWily

      You know… that is something that DOES have me a little curious. Since normally with an arcade release, there is a platform announcement to go with it (for arcade boards, of course). That didn’t happen here, and Harada himself is quite familiar with Tatio’s Type X 2 and NasicaxLive.
      So one, what hardware is this on?
      Two, if this is a Nintendo in-house system, is Amiibos a part of it?

      • Mastery

        I don’t know what hardware Mario Kart Arcade GP Deluxe uses but I’d wager it’s that one, as it’s a Nintendo title developed by Namco.

  • Namuro

    I’d be happy if Gardevoir is in the game! :D

    • PreyMantis

      It’s always Gardevoir with you people (sarcasm, in case others don’t get it like those other times).
      I vote Gallade.

      • ishyg

        I second for Gallade. Also, Mega Gallade please.

  • leingod

    That’s cool and all, but I really wish we’d have some news on TxSF instead :/

  • AuraGuyChris

    Let me guess. Non-Mega Evolutions get a size increase.

    • Velen (Not WoW)

      I think this could indicate non-fully evolved Pokemon being a thing.

      • AuraGuyChris

        Alas, they already said non-fully evolved Pokemon are also to be included as fighters.

        And since it’d be totally unfair for the likes of Blaziken to have a Mega Evolution…there has to be something to compensate the rest who can’t do that feat. I can only think MEs will have some sort of handicap, and I don’t mean “it will deactivate after 15 seconds.”

        • Hinataharem

          Probably one of those things where it makes you permanently loose your special bar or your like, combo potential goes down in exchange for raw damage. or something.

        • Bunzi

          They could dig deep – maybe somehow non-evolved or non Mega capable Pokemon shift to a shadow form ala Colosseum or XD?

        • justXaXnobody

          They could have Pokemon consume items like X-attack or something

    • Metabble

      Or Machamp gets a mega in oras

  • Sp00ks Pls

    Hopefully they are trying to make it an actual competitive fighter.

  • Eder García

    “Again, the Pokémon World Championship that is held each year that focuses on players going against each other in Pokémon games, and I’d like to see Pokkén be added as one of the important titles to those Pokémon battles.”
    that would be bad news for the FGC if they want Pokken on EVO…

    • ForteWily

      Currently, no… since this is an arcade release. It would be on Bandai to keep up with the equipment, cabs and such.

      Once this hits console, I see Mr. Wizard making a visit at Redmond, Washington… again.

    • Tre W


      I mean, in an ideal situation, TPC gets to have their exclusive Pokkén showcases at the World Championships, while the FGC gets EVO, as well as other Esports events can still be perfectly good venues for the game, as well.

      But like ForteWily suggests, this is still quite a ways away. We’ll be fortunate if we see the console port by the end of 2015.

      • Bunzi

        Console won’t come out til about 2016 most likely – it takes about a year for most Namco fighters to make the transition.

        • Tre W

          Usually, yes. But in a case like this, I could feasibly see a similar scenario with P4U/P4A. The original game got ported to the PS3/360 from arcades only about 4 months after the game’s official arcade launch.

          And much like with Persona, TPC knows that the majority of PKMN fans aren’t arcade-goers (and some can’t get to arcades at all). So I could see them shortening that usual “8-12 months” timeframe so that they can get that game into the hands of others as soon as reasonably possible.

          • Xeon2

            Its also notable that TPC’s localization when it come’s games has significantly improved with the release of X and Y.

      • ForteWily

        I really don’t know about that, that has a lot to do with Nintendo. EVO is a little more community based, something that the company has been known to avoid… they would more than likely deal with MLG (again) than EVO staff, unless there is something Nintendo has planed.

        What might happen is something that Capcom has been doing, a community circuit tour (Capcom Pro Tour) between events like EVO, The Fall Classic, Final Round, South/North California Regionals, etc. and MLG events. But We’ll have to see, this is all complete speculation on my part.

    • Xeon2

      Why? If anything the pokemon company would heavily endorse the EVO championship, they also take place at different times entirely. If anything, Nintendo would welcome the game into EVO and probably even sponsor it given that they sponsored Smash this year at EVO (and likely will do the same for smash 4 next year)

  • Melwwzas MZS

    I imagine it being like a team style 3d fighting game,the game would be cool if you could equip items and use assist moves too, items from the pokémon games!This will add a interesting strategic aspect, btw im very optimistic the game is in the right hands both tekken and soulcalibur creators are in charge of it.

  • Vash bane

    sounds interesting hmmm… now I’m trying to figure out which poke has abilities similar jins lol

    i’ll defiantly stalk youtube for this when more info arrives (but knowing this site you guys will get it first xP) I’m really curious of the roster mostly. and since some mega’s will be involved then that itself answers a few questions.

    like not all megas are humanoid ….snorlax ._. what if it makes the roster? (rufus anyone?) I’m not into fighters (specially when “pros” start talking about those weird controls bbC2 and stuff like it…I don’t understand it and I never will XD) but this sounds interesting (I play very few fighters and I play them all offline only)

  • evilmajikman

    I don’t think Tekken characters should be playable unless it’s like Kuma, Roger, or Alex. I think if you have humans in a fighter that mainly features fictitious animals, you’re going to get “progressive” idiots blaming Pokken for animal abuse. Heihachi beating up a roster full of animals just sounds bad on paper.

  • Tonton Ramos

    And Tekken X Street Fighter is still 10% development…

  • Spirit Macardi

    I’d love if one of the characters was a Sky-Forme Shaymin, and one of its alt looks gives it a blue cap with a Pac-Man emblem x3

    It’d be a good way to at least reference one of Namco’s constantly ignored series.

  • Daniel Rossevelt

    Hard to be excited for a JP only game, that as of now is also arcade only, call me back once it is at least announce for a console.

  • Princess_Eevee9

    Interviews are great abs all but where us the footage to back it up? 30% means nothing rotor a visual to show it off.

    • Guillermo Oliva III

      Give it time and let us not rush or push the development…. this is a real project with a lot of collaboration. So, I would want this company-team work to do things carefully ,since this is a huge project. Over all, “30%” mean, they are serious about the project and if they “delay” let us hope, they are making more consideration to the project :)

      • Princess_Eevee9

        I like delays as long as they explain why. :) Just would like to see what they’re working on as percents and words nothing without visual evidence.

        • Guillermo Oliva III

          Yeah, me too and it is exciting to see that they are really putting a lot of ideas and thinking of “this and that”. :D

  • GreatKino

    I don’t like Tekken so meh

  • AndyMAX

    Just imagine Jin beating the living crap out of Pikachu.

    • Guillermo Oliva III

      Hahahaha, that is mean XD

  • Guillermo Oliva III

    I want them to take their time and make this huge project “successful” for us. So, I appreciate every “news” that is going on and I like that “30%” means, they are serious about “Pokken”(At the very least, I am not going complain about them taking long ,since I already mentioned many times that making delays, putting a lot of effort, vast amount of time & patience, and the budget they are using is what is going to take is worth of effort.)

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    The Tekken characters could have been the trainers.

  • Kornelious

    I hope this turns out really good….I’m curious to see just what the Pokemon can do in a Tekken setting :)

  • Evan Groman

    How come you put some news stories at the top when it’s supposed to be a list of “the latest”?

    I check back on this site multiple times a day during various piss breaks and similar things, and there are so many times that i missed half the updates because I saw the first post or two and thought “oh, no updates.” It took me forever to realize you just keep some stories at the top for no reason.

    I think it would be very helpful to make them a different font or show a star next to them or something, so that we’d know they’re stickied, instead of having to look at the time stamps to see where the new stuff actually starts.

    • decus

      Agreed on differentiating them more. Sometimes stuff has the little PINNED symbol by it, but other times I think they’re just floating the most popular articles with no clear breakpoint. Adding one would be great.

  • Still waiting for that Clefairy confirmation


  • Notquitesure?

    How about no mega-evolution, saves them trying to adjust everything. Wouldn’t want to play as nerfed lucario then evolve to game breaker mega. Honestly would prefer just a balanced lucario and thats it.

    • Guillermo Oliva III

      What? dont be rude and let them do their way.

  • raphael

    aaah still has a lot to develop

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