TOKYO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--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 smartphone 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.
The Pokémon Company International, a subsidiary of The Pokémon Company in Japan, manages the property outside of Asia and is responsible for brand management, licensing, marketing, the Pokémon Trading Card Game, the animated TV series, home entertainment, and the official Pokémon website. Pokémon was launched in Japan in 1996, and today is one of the most popular children’s entertainment properties in the world. For more information, visit www.pokemon.com.
About Niantic, Inc.
Niantic, Inc. builds real world experiences that foster fun, exploration, discovery and social interaction. Originally incubated within Google, Niantic was founded by John Hanke, who previously helmed the Google Geo team (including Google Maps and Google Earth) after his start-up Keyhole was acquired by Google. The company’s real-world adventure game Ingress has been downloaded more than 12 million times and is played in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. For more information on Niantic, please visit www.nianticlabs.com.
The worldwide pioneer in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its Wii U™ and Wii™ home consoles, and Nintendo 3DS™ and Nintendo DS™ families of portable systems. Since 1983, when it launched the Nintendo Entertainment System™, Nintendo has sold more than 4.3 billion video games and more than 680 million hardware units globally, including the current-generation Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, and Nintendo 3DS XL™, as well as the Game Boy™, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi™ and Nintendo DSi XL™, Super NES™, Nintendo 64™, Nintendo GameCube™, and Wii systems. It has also created industry icons that have become well-known household names such as Mario™, Donkey Kong™, Metroid™, Zelda™, and Pokémon™. A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo’s operations in the Western Hemisphere. For more information about Nintendo, please visit the company’s website at http://www.nintendo.com.