June 1, 2023

Pokémon UNITE isn’t the Pokémon franchise’s first attempt at a live service game, but development on a MOBA is much different than other games like Pokémon Go or the smaller mobile titles. This difference mainly comes from how in-depth the developers have to be when working on a new Pokémon before it can be added to the game’s ever-expanding roster.

Since UNITE launched last July, the roster has expanded from 20 to 29 playable Pokémon thanks to DLC, with Trevenant set to round that out to 30 Pokémon on Jan. 20. And although we rarely get a deeper look at the development roadmap for the game, fans might have picked up on a pattern for some of UNITE’s DLC Pokémon.

Following the reveal of Trevenant as the next playable Pokémon, fans were quick to point out that the Ghost/Grass-type’s pre-evolution Phantump has been featured in UNITE before.

Phantump was seen in the background of the main hub of UNITE during the game’s Halloween Festival event, appearing as a moving hologram. At first, this could be seen as just a festive touch, but it looks like it might be more than that in hindsight.

Before the Halloween event, some promotional art for UNITE featured some pumpkins—with one particular carving that looked like the Alolan Grass-type starter Rowlet.

Decidueye, the final evolution of the Rowlet line, was released one month later on Nov. 19, leading to fans starting to comb every piece of promotional imagery and data for hints at future DLC releases.

With Trevenant’s confirmation, players have been pointing to the background of UNITE’s Holiday Festivities event to predict another set of Pokémon that could show up as playable characters down the line.

In the background of the Holiday event, players could see a hologram of Stantler and a billboard for Vanillite, both of which could be viable additions to the game in their own way.
Stantler is unlikely since it is already in the game as an NPC Pokémon on the winterized version of Remoat Stadium, but it could be a potential wildcard addition if The Pokémon Company and TiMi Studio want to add its Pokémon: Legends Arceus evolution Wyrdeer into the game at some point.

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The Vanilluxe evolutionary line would be an interesting pick, but it fits the current development decisions being made where UNITE gets a mix of fan-favorite Pokémon like Blastoise, Sylveon, and Dragonite paired with some leftfield choices such as Greedent and Trevenant.

Since UNITE launched on mobile in September, we have received at least one new Pokémon per month, so we likely won’t have to wait long after Trevenant’s release to hear more about February’s DLC character—even if this theory about background hints is entirely false.

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>> Pokémon UNITE may have a pattern for revealing some DLC

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