‘Pokémon Go’ is finally heading to the world’s largest mobile market

1295177 autosave v1 2 best of 2016 mobile pokemon go v3
Pokémon Go had a relatively quiet launch in the summer of 2016, but the mobile AR game quickly caught on, leading to server problems as demand proved too great for maker Niantic to comfortably handle.

Once it had its servers in order, Niantic soon began flipping the switch for the game in an increasing number of countries, taking it to millions of new players around the world who eagerly hit the streets in a bid to catch ’em all.

Up to now, however, there’s been one major country absent from the lengthy list of nations where players can download and enjoy the game: China.

That’s set to change after Niantic revealed to the Financial Times (FT) this week that it struck a deal with local gaming firm NetEase, paving the way for the game’s launch in the world’s largest mobile market.

While San Francisco-based Niantic is yet to announce a specific date for the game’s launch in China, when it does happen the firm expects millions of new players to join in the fun — and hopefully splash some cash on the game’s in-app purchases.

Taking Pokémon Go to the world’s most populous country is a huge boost for Niantic and is expected to increase revenue for the company after a relatively quiet 2017. Niantic CEO John Hanke told the FT that despite losing a lot of players in the last year, Go still has a loyal following among a smaller but solid base of players who have been enjoying numerous updates for the game throughout the last 12 months.

The deal with a China-based partner means the country could be one of the first to try out Niantic’s next major game launch, set in the magical world of Harry Potter, which is expected to arrive in the latter half of this year. Mindful of the difficult launch experienced by Pokémon Go, and aware that Harry Potter will likely generate even more interest, Hanke insisted Niantic has learned its lessons and is now “much better positioned” to cope when the Potter game lands.

Whether the Chinese authorities are well positioned to cope with the potential incidents and accidents caused by Pokémon Go when it turns up on smartphones in the country, well, that’s another question entirely.


Here’s all the news from the Google Stadia GDC presentation

Google announced its new game streaming service Stadia during GDC 2019. Here is all the news from the event, including news on YouTube streaming and quickly accessing your favorite new games.
Movies & TV

Stranger Things season 3 teaser proclaims it's almost feeding time in Hawkins

With a sophomore season as strong as its first, Stranger Things is now moving on to season 3. Here's everything we've learned so far about the Netflix series' upcoming third season, premiering in July 2019.
Home Theater

Here’s what’s new on Hulu and what’s leaving in April 2019

Our complete list of what's new on Hulu for April 2019, our personal favorites, and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on all the site has to offer -- and ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming ether.

Pre-orders open for the 5G Moto Mod, making the Moto Z3 fully 5G-compatibile

5G is the future of mobile internet, and you've probably heard about the huge speed increases the new standard will bring. But not every phone will be capable of accessing 5G speeds. Here's every phone that supports 5G.

Here's what we know about the Dark Souls developer's next game

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is the latest game from Dark Souls and Bloodborne developer From Software. Here is everything we know about the new game, including its setting and combat changes.

Upcoming zombiefest Days Gone boasts 30-plus hours of story-driven content

Days Gone, the first PlayStation 4 title from Sony's Bend Studio, looks to offer a different type of zombie game. Here's everything we know about the forthcoming title, from the setting to its gameplay.

Is Google launching a game-streaming service? Watch our GDC livestream to see

Google is presenting its 2019 GDC keynote on March 19. Here is how you can tune in to watch the event, as well as what could be shown during the presentation. Google's Project Stream service could be on the agenda.

Need to perform a factory reset on your Xbox One console? Here's how to do it

Whether you're upgrading to a One X and giving your old console to a friend, or troubleshooting a technical issue, sometimes your Xbox One needs a clean slate. Here's our quick guide on how to factory reset an Xbox One.

New character Octane makes an entrance with the first Apex Legends Battle Pass

Apex Legends' first season kicks off March 19 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. The Battle Pass comes in two versions, with the base version costing around 10 bucks. Seasonal rewards include a bevy of new loot such as legendary skins.

The Unevn One is a portable desk that brings PC gaming on the road

Bringing a gaming PC outside your usual setup can be a challenge, but the Unevn One is the first all-in-one, portable gaming desk complete with a computer chassis and integrated monitor mount.

How to get the most out of agent builds and specializations in The Division 2

The Division 2 has an intricate loot system to let you fine tune your agent to fit your play style. In our builds and specializations guide, we'll walk you through all of the stats you should pay attention to when tinkering with gear.

Transport your Nintendo Switch in style with these nifty cases

The Nintendo Switch, which boasts both wired and handheld modes, needs a good case to ensure it doesn't get beat up while you're on the go. We scoured through dozens of Switch cases to bring you the best ones.

Here's how you can control your PS4 right from your phone

Sony built the PlayStation 4 with smartphone and mobile integration in mind. Take a look at our guide for connecting your smartphone or tablet to a PS4, so you can get the most out of the system while on the go.

Here's our guide on how to progress through The Division 2 endgame

Your mission as an agent doesn't end after taking out the three main factions in The Division 2. The endgame brings the Black Tusks, a dangerous new faction, to D.C. Our endgame guide will help you on your quest for the best loot.