Date
23 January 2017
Pokemon GO’s wild success is prompting the game developer to plan a wider rollout. Photo: Reuters
Pokemon GO’s wild success is prompting the game developer to plan a wider rollout. Photo: Reuters

Pokemon GO developer aims for rollout in 200 markets

The developer behind Nintendo’s Pokemon GO said it wants to launch the smash-hit mobile game in roughly 200 countries and regions “relatively soon”.

Efforts are underway to bolster server capacity to enable the wider rollout, John Hanke, CEO of Niantic, which developed Pokemon GO jointly with Nintendo, told Reuters.

“Why limit it?” Hanke was quoted as saying in an interview last Friday.

The comments came as Pokemon GO has taken the world by storm despite being launched in only five countries — the US, Australia, New Zealand, Britain and Germany.

Hanke declined to go into a detailed timeframe for further rollouts but noted that the firm’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 will 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.

Niantic, which was spun off from Google last year, is working on the mapping issue, Hanke said. 

South Korea is the world’s fourth-biggest gaming market after China, the US and Japan, according to Amsterdam-based research firm Newzoo.

Hanke was reticent about prospects for a launch in China, noting that there are regulations that need to be considered, the report said.

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RC

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