Unite License inflation has caused quite a stir in the Pokemon Unite community recently as the cost of new Pokemon has significantly increased. In a roundtable interview at The Pokemon World Championship, I asked producer Masaaki Hoshino why the prices of Unite Licenses have increased, and if players can expect the prices to continue to go up in the future.
“First of all it’s not necessarily the case that we’re going to be increasing prices going forward,” Hoshino explained via his translator. “It’s really a case-by-case basis for each Pokemon. Tyranitar just happens to be – out of various considerations – slightly higher priced than other licenses, but it's not necessarily going to always increase from here. This is very specifically a Tyranitar situation.”
It’s unclear what makes Tyranitar a special case, but the accelerated pace of release could be a factor. Tyranitar, which costs 14,000 Aeos Coins or 575 Aeos Gems, is the most recent Pokemon added to the game on August 15. Buzzwole, an All-Rounder and the first Ultra Beast to join the roster, was added just two weeks before Tyranitar on August 3. Before that, Glaceon joined just two weeks prior on July 21. It could be that the increased price for Tyranitar is a result of the extra development effort. The cost of more characters may just be a higher price.
But Hoshino’s answer doesn’t quite address the whole situation. Tyranitar is the most expensive Unite License yet, at least in terms of coin cost, but the price has been increasing even before Tyranitar. While the initial roster had a mix of Pokemon that ranged from 6,000 to 10,000 coins, every Pokemon added since Decidueye has cost 10,000 coins, while both Buzzwole and Glaceon cost 12,000. Of course, Glaceon could be earned for free during the Anniversary event, which is an important factor to consider, and one that Hoshino also points out.
“We try to introduce opportunities like temporary discounts or bundles Holowears that allow players to purchase at lower price,” Hoshino says. “It’s always in flux, it’s not necessarily an upward trend.”
Unite has introduced four characters that were free during limited-time events, and is currently giving away five license and Holowear bundles – Pikachu, Lucario, Blastoise, Snorlax, and Sylveon – as part of a 1st Anniversary log-in bonus. There have been other opportunities to unlock free licenses, and Hishino indicates more offers like those will be available in the future.
Whatever the reason might be for the recent increases, Hishino’s is at least willing to make it clear that Unite License prices aren’t going to continue to increase. This should offer some relief to players that are struggling to keep up with all the new releases.
In our interview, Hoshino also responded to some of the common feature requests, shared some information about the new map, Theia Sky Ruins, and hinted at future Eeveelutions that might be coming to the game. I also spoke to the first Pokemon Unite World Champions, who swept the competition this past weekend, going completely undefeated.
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