Pokémon Go, Going Global as Game Launches in More Countries
Pokémon Go already is a phenomenon as it has captured the attention of millions and millions while adding billions to the market value of Nintendo. However, the game remains limited to just a few countries.
There is good news however for all those waiting to play it, with word that plans for global expansion are on the horizon.
Niantic, the company that at one time was owned by Google, that is behind this game, announced on Friday that it intends to expand its app to more than 200 countries across the globe at a pace it called “relatively soon.”
In an interview with the press, Niantic’s CEO John Hanke said, “Why limit it,” when asked about wide would the app distribution be for the popular game.
Currently, Pokémon Go is only live in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany and New Zealand. On Friday three additional countries located in Europe – Italy, Portugal and Spain – were added to that live status.
Users in certain countries have been able to find ways to download the app to gain access to parts of its map on an unofficial basis.
However, in general it remains very closed off. There are millions across the globe watching the new Pokemania that is exploding without being able to sample the game for themselves.
Nevertheless, the app numbers are blasting any app phenomenon that was released previously.
It has more daily users than even Twitter. It has a higher engagement than does Facebook. It is estimated that 7.5 million downloads have been done in just the U.S. There is estimated revenue of $1.6 million daily.
The explosion of interest had put a big strain on the servers for the game, with many users experiencing intermitted issues.
Clearly, that is a concern for any type of extended expansion globally, but CEO Hanke assured everyone that the company was bulking up accordingly on its infrastructure.
Two markets that are notable that will open soon are Japan, which is Pokémon’s home and the most lucrative market in the world for mobile games and Korea, which is another hugely valuable nation.
Google’s maps service is relied upon by Pokémon Go, but is not supported fully in Korea due to some local issues. CEO Hanke did not release any details on the launch in Japan or Korea, other than saying Japan would be soon and the issues within Korea needed to be work upon.