The Pokemon Company has released several Pokemon games on mobile devices in the recent past. But today’s announcement of Pokemon Go marks the first time that Nintendo is involved in the creation of a mobile Pokemon game… which is fitting as it might be the biggest one yet.
Pokemon Go will be available for iDevices (through the iOS App Store) and Android devices (through Google Play) beginning in 2016. Similar to a digital version of geocaching, Pokemon Go will use GPS positioning to give players directions to Pokemon they can find “in the wild,” along with other players they can trade with or battle.
Development on Pokemon Go is being lead by Niantic, a team that is actually very familiar with the intersection of mobile gaming and augmented reality. They’re probably best known for Ingress, a mobile game that uses the backdrop an alien invasion to bring players together out in the world.
Pokemon Go will be a free-to-play title, but The Pokemon Company and Nintendo will also sell an optional bauble known as the Pokemon Go Plus that can act as the player’s Pokeball. After linking with the game, it will flash and beep when Pokemon are nearby and players can use the device to catch ’em all with the press of a button. And in addition to the involvement of Niantic and Nintendo, Junichi Masuda, Game Director of the Pokemon franchise at Game Freak, will also assist in the development of Pokemon Go to ensure that it’s the best Pokemon experience possible.
“Pokemon 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, CEO of Niantic. “Our partnership with The Pokemon 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.”
I have a feeling this super effective team just might be able to create a game that’ll become very popular with the convention crowd.