ByKen McDonnell, writer at
Now Loading's sentimental Irishman. I can't stop playing Overwatch, please send help.
Ken McDonnell

Pokken Tournament has been out as an arcade game in Japan since July 16th. You know, it's statements like that which force me to book tickets to this island. A gamer's dream. In any case, now that the Pokemon fighting game has been out for several months and the western release date for the Nintendo Wii U exclusive is drawing near, it may be time to adjust our expectations and examine the reception of Pokken Tournament in Japanese and American arcades.

However, we should also keep in mind that what works in the West is often very different from Japan's successes. Additionally, if anyone has had the fortune to visit Japan and play this game in one of the country's numerous arcades, we'd love to hear from you! After all, a Pokemon fighting game has us seriously hyped.

Pokken Tournament & Its Reception In Japan

Pokken Tournament
Pokken Tournament

One of the biggest stories that came out of Japan regarding Pokken Tournament, happened in late October of last year. There were reports that the new arcade game wasn't satisfying the owner of a particular arcade in an area of Japan called Kurashiki (approximately a 3 hour drive south of Osaka).

Allegedly the arcade, Amusement Fantasista (アミューズメント ファンタジスタ), located in Japan’s Okayama prefecture, was remarkably popular. However, after having Pokken Tournament on their site for a little over 3 months, they decided it wouldn't be profitable to keep the arcade game for the projected 3 years, due to low sale numbers and the fact that it would later release for the Wii U.

The Pokken Tournament arcade controller
The Pokken Tournament arcade controller

Now, this is of course an isolated incident. There are also reports that the game can go on for a long time after only spending 100 Yen one one go (about $0.82):

"Your money will go a long way, as I played 45 minutes once off of one credit, beating challenger after challenger, and even a direct versus game between two cabinets can last up to five minutes." - Destructoid

This could obviously lead to low sales numbers, however, there are also arcades around America that have taken in Pokken Tournament. Reports have shed light on the title's reception:

"Pokkén machines were mostly a ghost town with little interest at Dave and Buster's, while everyone was raving near the Tekken 7 machines."

Could The Wii U Release Date Change This Around?

Pokken Tournament
Pokken Tournament

Arcades are a very different world when it comes to appealing to gamers. The likes of Tekken 7 is almost guaranteed to go down well and perhaps Pokken Tournament doesn't meet the expectations that arcade gamers have for a fighting games. After all, you never see a controller like Pokken's in an arcade.

While Pokken Tounrament hasn't sold well or received great reports from arcades around the world, its release date on the Wii U could paint a very different picture. Do you have hope for [Pokkén Tournament](tag:3755106)? Are you excited for its release date? Do you think it will satisfy fighting game fans? Let us know in the comments below!


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