The Pokémon Company announced a collaboration with Bandai Namco this morning, in the form of Pokkén Tournament, a fighting game being created for arcades. Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada, SoulCalibur producer Masaaki Hoshino, and The Pokémon Company CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara discussed the game on a livestream following the announcement.
Harada says he wants Pokkén Tournament to be a game that can be enjoyed by both casual and hardcore fans of Pokémon and fighting games, but most of all, he wants it to be a game that feels great to play.
According to Harada, the game doesn’t use Tekken’s engine, and is something completely new. It won’t focus as much on the fighting game genre’s technical aspects, and will be mainly about the action.
There won’t be any Tekken characters appearing either, so you won’t have to worry about Jack popping in to fight Pokémon.
Meanwhile, SoulCalibur producer Hoshino says that has always been a big fan of Pokémon. Harada explained that Hoshino is always challenging others to the Pokémon card game. Hoshino was even carrying cards in his pocket during the stream.
According to Ishihara, when he knew that they were working with Bandai Namco, he felt that if they were going to make something with them, it would definitely have to be a fighting action game, so he created the presentation for Pokkén Tournament and brought it over.
As far as the title “Pokkén Tournament” is concerned, Ishihara says he felt that another title wouldn’t have been acceptable for the game, as Pokkén Tournament represents a collaboration between the two companies. The idea came from brainstorming a different way for fans to enjoy Pokémon.
When asked why they chose arcades to release the game, Ishihara stated that while they already have Pokémon games on arcades, this would be another way to get new fans to enjoy Pokémon, and it’s something he’s always wanted to see happen.
As an aside, Ishihara said that the game would be released “first on arcades,” then went, “Oops, I said first” with a chuckle, so there’s a little sign that we could possibly see a console version in the future.
The developer also had a little Pokémon X and Y battle between team Bandai Namco’s Hoshino and Harada versus a team of voice actors, who were invited as guests to share their experiences with Pokémon. While it was well-fought battle, team voice actors ended up edging out the two producers in the end.
Harada also announced the official Twitter account for Pokkén Tournament, and urged fans to tweet what new Pokémon they’d like to see, as there’s still a ways to go until the game’s roster is complete.
Pokkén Tournament is currently in development for arcades, and will be released sometime in 2015 in Japan.