Thursday 27 October 2016

Niantic wants to roll out Pokemon GO in 200 markets soon

Published 15/07/2016 | 08:21

The Pokemon Go app launch screen
The Pokemon Go app launch screen

The head of the developer behind Nintendo Pokemon GO said he wanted to launch the smash-hit mobile game in roughly 200 countries and regions "relatively soon" and was working on bolstering server capacity to enable the wider rollout.

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"Why limit it?" John Hanke, chief executive of Niantic, which developed Pokemon GO jointly with Nintendo affiliate Pokemon Company, told Reuters in an interview on Friday.

The game, which marries a classic 20-year old franchise with augmented reality, has been launched just in five countries including the United States, Britain and Germany.

Shares in Nintendo have surged 77pc to a six-year high in just over a week on the game's success, adding $15bn in market value.

Hanke declined to go into a detailed timeframe for further rollouts but noted that the company's first location-based augmented reality game Ingress had taken a month or two to reach that number of markets.

He confirmed that the game would soon be coming to Japan and that he expects "ultimately to launch" the game in South Korea, where Google's mapping functions are restricted due to security issues with North Korea.

Hanke said the company is working on the mapping issue. "There are solutions to that," he said.

Regarding China, he said it is technically possible to launch the game there, but noted that there are regulations that have to be considered. He declined to comment further on a potential China rollout.


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