Video game developer Niantic has announced that its popular Pokemon Go game will launch in China. The company has told Financial Times that the game will debut in the country after they reached a partnership deal with NetEase, an internet technology company in China.
The game made its official debut in July 2016. The game debuted in other countries the following days and weeks but not in China, where the government refused to have the game over concerns of the behavior of the users playing AR games such as Pokemon Go. In August 2016, Iran became the first country to ban Pokemon Go, citing security concerns.
Pokemon Go was an instant success across the world, with hundreds and sometimes even thousands of players gathering in the most popular places of their cities to catch Pokemon. The game would go on to set records in app stores and make millions for the game developer.
Pokemon Go isn’t as popular as it was back in 2016 but the game developer still has plans to bring it to China, the world’s most populous country and one of the biggest mobile markets. John Hanke, Founder and CEO of Niantic, told the Financial Times that it absolutely planned to bring its games to China.
Pokemon Go, a free to play AR game, is all about finding Pokemons with a smartphone and catching them. The AR technology allows players to see the Pokemons through their camera as if they were really there. The game has made several updates since its debut in 2016 and even though Mr. Hanke said that the number of players has decreased, he also mentioned that there is a solid core of players who continue to play the game.
Pokemon Go was one of the most popular mobile apps in 2016, with more than 500 million downloads around the world. The game also became the fastest to top the Google Play and App Store. It also set a new record for the most downloaded app of the App Store in the first week. Less than a month after its release, the game had been downloaded 100 million times.
The popularity of the game even benefited businesses from the presence of PokeStops that were either located nearby or right on them. Niantic did not reveal an exact date for the launch in China but Pokemon fans in the country now know that they will get to play the game some time this year.