The widely popular mobile augmented reality game, Pokemon Go, was banned in China and now the ban has been lifted in the country. The mobile title has been very successful since its launch in 2016 and continues to grow and with the ban lifted in China, it seems that Pokemon Go will see more growth.
Speaking with Financial Times, CEO of Niantic Labs John Hanke noted that the studio intends to bring its other titles to China along with Pokemon Go and noted that there are opportunities to develop games for the Chinese audience. Currently, Pokemon Go has no specific release date for China but the game is scheduled to launch sometime in 2018.
We absolutely intend to bring our existing games into China. Beyond that, there are opportunities to build games in China, both for China and for the world.
Niantic has partnered with NetEase to launch its game in China as the Chinese law demands foreign companies to partner with local firms in order to launch their product.
Hanke also added that the game servers are much “better positioned” compared to the game’s initial launch in 2016 which means that the game will be able to handle millions of new players that will join the adventure.
The game was banned by the Chinese Government over concerns such as the game being a potential threat to national security, people’s lives, and property. These concerns are warranted as according to a report, the game caused over 100,000 car accidents.
Furthermore, around $500,000 in damages, 37 different injuries, and two fatal accidents were caused by people playing Pokemon Go. It seems that Niantic has been able to convince Chinese government that these incidents will not happen.
Pokemon Go is an augmented reality game developed by Niantic Labs for iOS and Android devices.