Pokémon, Niantic, and Nintendo Collaborating on New Mobile Pokémon Game Slated for Launch in 2016
The Pokémon Company, Niantic, Inc., and Nintendo Co., Ltd. today announced their collaboration on a new project for mobile devices called Pokémon GO. This ground breaking mobile game will encourage fans to search far and wide in the real world to discover Pokémon. Pokémon GO will be available for download at no charge on the App Store and Google Play in 2016.
In the past, the Pokémon video game series has used real world locations like the Hokkaido and Kanto regions of Japan, as well as New York and Paris, as inspiration for its fantasy settings. In Pokémon GO, players will be able to catch, trade, and battle in the real world by utilizing location information. Pokémon GO’s gameplay experience goes beyond what appears on screen as players explore their neighborhoods, communities and the world they live in to discover Pokémon alongside friends and other players. Junichi Masuda, game director of the Pokémon video game series at GAME FREAK inc. will be contributing to the project. His involvement will ensure that the fun of Pokémon makes its way into Pokémon GO, while developing new types of gameplay and thinking of ways to connect this project with the main series of Pokémon video games. In-app purchases will be available in Pokémon GO.
“Our challenge was to develop a great game for smart phone devices that expressed the core values of Pokémon,” said Tsunekazu Ishihara, president and CEO of The Pokémon Company. “Pokémon GO is the answer to that challenge.”
“Pokémon GO is a wonderful combination of Niantic’s real world gaming platform and one of the most beloved franchises in popular culture,” said John Hanke, founder and CEO of Niantic, Inc. “Our partnership with The Pokémon Company and Nintendo is an exciting step forward in real-world gaming and using technology to help players discover the world and people around them.”
Players will be able to enhance their Pokémon GO experience even when they are looking away from their smartphones by using a unique device called Pokémon GO Plus. By pressing a button on Pokémon GO Plus, simple in-game actions like catching a Pokémon can be performed. Developed and manufactured by Nintendo Co., Ltd., Pokémon GO Plus will connect to smartphones via Bluetooth and by flashing and vibrating, will notify players about events like the appearance of a Pokémon nearby.
Pokémon GO is being developed by Niantic, Inc. Originally founded by Google Earth co-creator John Hanke as a start-up within Google, Niantic is known for creating Ingress, the augmented reality mobile game which utilizes GPS technology to fuel a sci-fi story encompassing the entire world. Ingress currently has 12 million downloads worldwide.