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Pokemon Go comes to India!

By Himanshu Juneja
December 16, 2016 10:20 IST
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Niantic Labs, the makers of Pokemon Go, releasing the game in India, and adding more content to the game of late, should ensure another spike in the game's popularity, says Himanshu Juneja.

pokemon go

IMAGE: A fan takes a picture with Pikachu, a short, chubby yellow Pokemon. Photograph: Jose Cabezas/Reuters

Santa Claus seems to have dropped in early for South Asia at the least. Nearly five months after making its debut, Pokemon Go has finally been released for the region, allowing die hard fans of the game to grab some action in a legit fashion.

The augmented reality game where players hunt for their favourite Pokemon characters had a whirlwind start and has now finally been made available for interested players in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Speaking about India, the game's creator, Niantic Labs, has entered into an exclusive partnership with Reliance Jio to bring the game to India. Under the agreement, Jio retail locations and charging stations in the country will appear as Gyms and Pokemon Stops, where users can interact with in-game fights to further the indulgence.

Jio Chat, the social messaging app from Jio, will provide a conduit to the Pokemon Go Channel, allowing the players to get on with discussions, while sharing tips, clues, contests and special events.

John Hanke, chief executive officer and founder of Niantic said, "We are delighted to partner with Jio to launch Pokemon GO in India. It's exciting to see Pokemon fans in India step out and explore their neighbourhoods in search of Pokemon, and Jio's disruptive high speed 4G LTE Network will be an excellent way to experience the game."

A video grab of Pokemon Go

The mobile game was launched in July for both Android And iOS devices, but has reached officially in India only now; earlier interested players here had to resort to steps like side loading the app in order to play the game.

The game features characters from the hugely popular Pokemon anime series, and the players are required to roam around in real world to capture the lovable
characters. This means that the players need to have a mobile device with a working camera, an active data connection, and of course GPS feature on the device.

The game was a runaway success in the regions where it was released, but the interest and the craze waned off in due course of time. The Niantic-Jio partnership seems like a win-win situation for both the parties.

India provides a big market for the app owing to its huge population, and can help drive the craze well into a second resurgence. As for Reliance Jio, the customers can now look forward to a double bonanza of getting to play a game with international appeal while enjoying a free internet connection till March 2017.

"Our partnership with Niantic not only brings access to the Pokemon GO app but also opens the door to more opportunities for our customers to enjoy content on Jio's one-of-a-kind mobile broadband network." said Mathew Oommen, president, Reliance Jio.

The Pokemon Go was touted to be something of a panacea for the generally unhealthy gaming addiction, as the players are required to go outdoors in order to play.

Niantic releasing the game in India, and adding more content to the game of late, should ensure another spike in the game's popularity.

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Himanshu Juneja