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Rollout to 200 Markets Aimed Soon, says Developer of Nintendo's Pokemon GO

Rollout to 200 Markets Aimed Soon, says Developer of Nintendo's Pokemon GO
The developer behind Nintendo Co Ltd's Pokemon GO is working on bolstering server capacity to enable the wider rollout and would "relatively soon" launch the smash-hit mobile game in roughly 200 countries and regions. This was revealed by the head of the developing firm recently after the astounding popularity of the game.
Despite having been launched in only five countries - the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Britain and Germany, the game has taken almost t he entire world by storm and the dame itself marries a classic 20-year old franchise with augmented reality.
"Why limit it?" John Hanke, chief executive of Niantic, which developed Pokemon GO jointly with Nintendo affiliate Pokemon Company, said in an interview to Reuters on Friday.
The company's first location-based augmented reality game Ingress had taken a month or two to reach that number of markets he said. But he declined to go into any more details about a possible timeframe for further rollouts.
Setting a record in daily trading volume for an individual stock on the Tokyo bourse, the comments of the company head helped Nintendo shares on Friday surge another 10 percent. Adding $17 billion in market value, the shares have climbed 86 percent in just over a week.

He expects "ultimately to launch" the game in South Korea, where Google's mapping functions are restricted due to security issues with North Korea and confirmed that the game would soon be coming to Japan.
The mapping issue is being worked upon by Hanke said Niantic both of which was spun off from Google last year. "There are solutions to that," he said.
According to Amsterdam-based research firm Newzoo, after China, the United States and Japan, South Korea is the world's fourth-biggest gaming market in the world.
But on the issue of the chances of launching the game in China, he was more reticent about the prospects for a China launch of the game and only said that there are several regulations that have to be considered before deciding one  launch of the game in the most populous country of the world.
A sponsorship scheme similar to one it has with Ingress, which designates sponsors' stores and vending machines as spots in the game, is being considered ot be introduced by the company, Hanke said.
In addition to in-app purchases sponsors pay per customer visit by providing a revenue stream. Including SoftBank Group Corp, globally there are eight corporate sponsors for Ingress that Niantic currently has and he said that a similar number is likely to be available for Pokemon GO.
 Meanwhile, almost doubling the company's market value in just over a week and extending their rally since the launch of its Pokemon GO augmented reality game, shares of Nintendo Co jumped nearly 10 percent to a six-year high on Friday.
Noting the highest value since mid-2010, Nintendo's shares rose to as much as 27,800 yen in early Tokyo trade. adding almost $15 billion to the company's market value, the stock is up 86 percent from last Thursday.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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