Go home, Ash: Pokken Tournament cuts out the middle man

The Pokemon Company has announced Pokken Tournament, a Pokemon fighting game being developed for Japanese arcades by Bandai Namco with Tekken series director Katushiro Harada and Soulcalibur series lead programmer  Masaaki Hoshino (via Gematsu).

The announcement trailer features the mighty Machamp going toe-to-toe with fighting game veteran Lucario in a Tekken-style open arena. There are no trainers in sight, presumably meaning that the Pokemon have finally overthrown their captors and learned to fight for themselves.

Given the pugilistic nature of the Pokemon franchise, a traditional fighting game spin-off seems like a natural fit. An array of colorful monsters would also provide a nice counterpoint to the usual roster of muscle-bound men, scantily-clad women, and the occasional demon that populate most fighters.

Pokken Tournament will come first to Japanese arcades in 2015, as is typical for Tekken games, and possibly Wii U afterwards, though no announcement to that effect has yet been made.