× Business BUSINESS MOTORING SHIPPING & LOGISTICS DR PESA FINANCIAL STANDARD Digital News Videos Health & Science Lifestyle Opinion Education Columnists Moi Cabinets Arts & Culture Fact Check Podcasts E-Paper Lifestyle & Entertainment Nairobian Entertainment Eve Woman Travelog TV Stations KTN Home KTN News BTV KTN Farmers TV Radio Stations Radio Maisha Spice FM Vybez Radio Enterprise VAS E-Learning Digger Classified Jobs Games Crosswords Sudoku The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS
×

Developer of Nintendo's Pokemon GO aiming for rollout to 200 markets soon

SCI & TECH
By Reuters | July 18th 2016
By Reuters | July 18th 2016
SCI & TECH

The head of the developer behind Nintendo Co Ltd's (7974.T) 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.

The game, which marries a classic 20-year old franchise with augmented reality, has taken the world by storm despite having been launched in only five countries - the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Britain and Germany.

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

He 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.

His comments helped Nintendo shares on Friday surge another 10 percent, setting a record in daily trading volume for an individual stock on the Tokyo bourse. The shares have climbed 86 percent in just over a week, adding $17 billion in market value.

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 Niantic, which was spun off from Google last year, is working on the mapping issue. "There are solutions to that," he said.

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

But he was more reticent about prospects for a launch in China, saying only that there are regulations that have to be considered.

Hanke said the company is considering introducing a sponsorship scheme similar to one it has with Ingress, which designates sponsors' stores and vending machines as spots in the game.

Sponsors pay per customer visit, providing a revenue stream in addition to in-app purchases. Niantic currently has eight corporate sponsors for Ingress globally, including SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T), and the number is likely to be similar for Pokemon GO, he said.

Share this story
Internet of Things moves into mainstream: new study
The Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to ramp up in everyday business, with more than three quarters (76 percent) of businesses saying IoT will drive future success, according to a new global study released on July 14.
CS Najib Balala summoned over stalled project
There have been reports of cut-throat competition between agencies under the Ministry of Tourism.
.
RECOMMENDED NEWS
Feedback