Dave and Buster’s Senior Vice President Kevin Bachus participated in a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session last week, where he told Redditors that his franchise is in discussion with Bandai Namco to bring Pokkén Tournament to the United States and Canada.
Pokkén Tournament is an arcade fighting game that has officially been announced only for Japan. “Candidly both NAMCO and I are more optimistic about that title and our typical guests than Tekken,” Bachus said. Redditors responded with enthusiasm, and it’s not hard to see why. Pokémon is one of those eternally popular franchises that appeals to kids and young adults alike. Anyone born post-1990 has probably lived through a Pokémon phase. The franchise remains one of Nintendo’s central powerhouses.
This game is being developed by Bandai Namco, who make the popular Tekken fighting game series. Tekken games are now available on many platforms, but it originated as an arcade fighting game. In the same vein, Pokkén Tournament will be a 2-player Pokemon arcade fighting game. The trailer, which came out last summer, shows Machamp and Lucario having a showdown in some idyllic farmland.
The game isn’t scheduled for a statewide release just yet. Bachus said they will be testing it, which means chances are you won’t actually be seeing it at a Dave and Buster’s near you. As Polygon pointed out, Dave and Buster’s is also testing Tekken 7 right now and you can find it at a whopping 6 of its 70+ locations.
But Bachus is optimistic about the future of the game, and that’s not surprising. Pokémon has aged very nicely since its 1995 debut. It remains one of the central reasons that people buy Nintendo’s handheld consoles, like the Nintendo 3DS. That’s basically one of the only ways you can play a Pokémon game. Pokkén Tournament will have a mix of original and new generation Pokémon. Machamp is one of the original 150, while Lucario and the also-confirmed Blaziken are from newer Pokémon games.