After ample speculation, The Pokemon Company confirms that the next fighter joining the Pokken Tournament roster will be none other than the fully evolved form of Piplup, Empoleon.
Despite arriving in Japanese arcades back in July 2015, Pokken Tournament has been making waves in the back half of 2016 as a result of new playable characters being added to the mix. It wasn't that long ago that The Pokemon Company confirmed that it would be adding Croagunk to fight title – much to the surprise of fans of the Pocket Monster franchise. Now another combatant has been confirmed for the game, and it's one that many had long believed would be joining the fray – the Water/Steel-type Empoleon.
Following a peek into the code of the Wii U version, gamers came to expect the inclusion of Scizor and Darkrai, with Empoleon being the last member of leaked trio. Evidently, this didn't slow down developer Bandai Namco's plans in the slightest. Taking to Pokken Tournament's official Japanese website, The Pokemon Company officially confirmed that the penguin-inspired Pokemon would be getting in on the action as a playable fighter, albeit as an arcade-only addition in Japan.
Outside of confirming the monster's inclusion date as December 15, 2016, it's noteworthy that there wasn't a trailer accompanying the beast – nor is there a date set in which trainers can expect to see it in action. Instead, fans will simply be left waiting for further updates on the creature and its moveset. Presumably, it'll make full use of its Water-typing to wash away the competition, while its Steel-type duality ensures that it'll be delivering some devastating blows with its razor-sharp wings.
Despite the horrifying look that Empoleon now bears in the slightly more realistic Pokken Tournament, fans outside of Japan have been wondering just when they'll finally be able to get their hands on these additional characters. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that an answer is anywhere in sight, as the only movement gamers have recently seen with the Wii U iteration is a Black Friday discount. Of course, this is certainly disheartening news for those patiently awaiting more content, but it seems inevitable that something with a little more accessibility will emerge in time.
With the Nintendo Switch set to arrive in March 2017, perhaps news on a potential Pokken Tournament port will be coming sooner rather than later. With that noted, fans are more than welcome to keep their fingers crossed for a potential (and completely hypothetical) reveal during the hotly anticipated Nintendo Switch showcase in early January.
Pokken Tournament is currently available on Nintendo Wii U.