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The shady truth about Pokemon Unite's trailer

Pokemon Unite was only announced just a few days ago, but it is already proving to be an insanely divisive game among the Pokemon fan community. Not only that, but it has seemingly led to a bit of a scandal on social media. It appears as though the official Pokemon Youtube channel is taking a fishy approach to criticism.

Announced just a few days ago, the game is set to be a 5-on-5 multiplayer online battle arena game that pits groups of Pokemon trainers against each other in team battles. Each player will control one Pokemon in Pokemon Stadium-style battles. Despite the intriguing premise, the trailer for the game has become the most disliked video on the official Pokemon Youtube channel. According to Nintendo Life, the video presentation announcing Pokemon Unite was disliked over 150,000 times within the first 24 hours of its release. To put it in Pokemon terms, that's over 1,000 dislikes for each Pokemon in the first generation roster.

The backlash to the announcement of Pokemon Unite was almost immediate, with people immediately down-voting the video and trash-talking it on social media. Now, it appears that Nintendo has heard those complaints, but the company is responding to it in a pretty shady manner.

According to NintendoLife, which has been tracking the matter, it appears as though Nintendo of America has been removing thousands of fan dislikes from the video. At various times, the number has changed drastically. At one point, the video was at 160,000 dislikes. Then it was at 134,000. Then it was back up to 150,000.

It's a bizarre phenomenon, especially because it doesn't exactly reflect well on Nintendo. It's possible that Nintendo is attempting to keep people from dogpiling on the new game, but is going about it in a way that comes across as particularly shady. Pokemon Sword and Shield received similarly chilly receptions, but it didn't seem as though Nintendo was resorting to censoring fan feedback over those games. Why this would be happening now is very unclear.

Some fans on Twitter claim that Nintendo is also removing comments. As seen in screenshots shared by one user on Twitter, some of these comments are from people explaining why they don't care for the new direction of the series. Unfortunately, these comments are no longer available. 

Perhaps Nintendo sees some of the more negative comments as a kind of pre-release review-bombing. It's not entirely out of the question for fans to be super reactionary and flock to criticize a game in droves. After all, that's currently a problem faced by Naughty Dog's The Last of us Part 2. Again, however, Naughty Dog and Sony don't appear to be deleting down-votes and comments.

As of this writing, the dislikes seem to be hovering around 158,000. It's unclear if these are still being weeded out, but the number does appear to be steadily growing.

So why are people so opposed to the new Pokemon game? Apparently, it's because the game isn't exactly what players were hoping for in a Pokemon spinoff title. There were major concerns revolving around Tencent's involvement in the game's development. Between that factor and the phrasing that the game will be "free to start," people are already beginning to brace themselves for an insane number of microtransactions during the game. Some people see the removal of dislikes and comments as further proof that Tencent is behaving in a shady manner, but that has not been proven.

At least there is some good news for Pokemon fans who are longing for a dose of nostalgia. It was recently announced that cult classic Nintendo 64 spinoff Pokemon Snap is finally getting a proper sequel on the Nintendo Switch. The perfectly-titled New Pokemon Snap doesn't currently have a release date set, but the news of its announcement was met with enthusiasm from fans. The trailer makes it seem like the new game won't stray too far from what people loved so much about the original game, which is great news for diehard players with fond memories of the first installment. For a while, it seemed like we were never going to get a second Pokemon Snap game. The news came as a pleasant surprise to fans who had been holding out hope for years.

Still, that doesn't seem to be making up for the profound disappointment and frustration that people have had with the Pokemon Unite announcement. As pointed out by one user in the comments of the Pokemon Unite trailer, this game has attracted even more hate than the infamous first trailer for Metroid: Federation Force. That announcement received around 88,000 dislikes in its first year of release, which means that Pokemon Unite nearly doubled that in 1/365th of the time. 

Who knows how this will all turn out? One thing is for sure, it has to have a better ending than the one the Pokemon anime almost got.