Date
23 September 2017
Pikachu, the main protagonist in Pokemon GO, rides the MTR in the game's Hong Kong debut. Photo: Internet
Pikachu, the main protagonist in Pokemon GO, rides the MTR in the game's Hong Kong debut. Photo: Internet

Pokemon GO takes Hong Kong by storm

Hong Kong joined the global Pokemon GO frenzy with the launch of the Japanese mobile game Monday.

The Hong Kong debut followed Friday’s release of the blockbuster app in Japan. 

Niantic Labs, the game’s maker, announced the Hong Kong launch on Twitter, telling fans to “put on you shoes, step outside and explore the world”.

Since its global launch two weeks ago, Pokemon GO has sparked a worldwide craze among users who have taken to the streets with their smartphones, Channel News Asia reports.

The free app uses satellite locations, graphics and camera capabilities to overlay cartoon monsters on real-world settings, challenging players to capture and train the creatures for battles.

The game has given a shot in the arm to Nintendo’s nascent move into mobile gaming after it abandoned a longstanding consoles-only policy.

However, Nintendo shares plunged on Monday after the company said last week that the financial impact from the worldwide hit will be limited.

The stock was down 17 percent at midday in Tokyo, wiping out about US$6.4 billion in market value.

The correction comes after Pokemon GO’s release almost doubled Nintendo’s stock through Friday’s close, adding US$17.6 billion in market capitalization.

Nintendo is a shareholder in the game’s developer Niantic Inc. and Pokemon Co. but has an “effective economic stake” of just 13 percent in the app, according to an estimate by Macquarie Securities analyst David Gibson.

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