Pokémon Go Launch Plan

Last year Nintendo along with The Pokémon Company and Niantic announced that a brand new game called Pokémon Go would be created for iOS and Android and would arrive in 2016. We still don’t know the launch date or the beta plans, but we do know that on Monday, March 14 at the Game Developers Conference, John Hanke from Niantic will host a session: Catch’em All: Pokémon Go and Real World Computing. We expect more details to be announced around that time.

Until then, the rollout for Pokémon Go has been revealed by Tsunekazu Ishihara, head of the Pokémon Company has intimated to a newspaper that the game will rollout first in Japan, Europe, and North America. South America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East will have to wait a little longer after the initial launch. He also let loose that they are working on another big project, but of course details on that will have to wait (Pokémon Z, perhaps?).

If you’re unfamiliar with the Pokémon Go game, below is official wording straight from the creators:

Travel between the real world and the virtual world of Pokémon with Pokémon GOfor iPhone and Android devices! With Pokémon GO, you’ll discover Pokémon in a whole new world—your own! Pokémon GO will use real location information to encourage players to search far and wide in the real world to discover Pokémon.

No beta testing has been announced for Pokémon GO at this time. Please keep checking for updates.

The Pokémon video game series has used real-world locations such as the Hokkaido and Kanto regions of Japan, New York, and Paris as inspiration for the fantasy settings in which its games take place. Now the real world will be the setting!

The Pokémon video game series has always valued open and social experiences, such as connecting with other players to enjoy trading and battling Pokémon. Pokémon GO’s gameplay experience goes beyond what appears on screen, as players explore their neighborhoods, communities, and the world they live in to discover Pokémon alongside friends and other players.

A small device called a Pokémon GO Plus will enable Pokémon GO players to enjoy the game even when they’re not looking at their smartphone. The device connects to the smartphone via Bluetooth and notifies the player about events in the game—such as the appearance of a Pokémon nearby—using an LED and vibration. In addition, players can catch Pokémon or perform other simple actions by pressing the button on the device. Pokémon GO Plus is being developed and manufactured by Nintendo Co., Ltd.


Pokémon GO is being developed by Niantic, Inc. Originally founded by Google Earth co-creator John Hanke as a start-up within Google, Niantic is known for creating Ingress, the augmented reality mobile game that utilizes GPS technology to fuel a sci-fi story encompassing the entire world. Ingress currently has 12 million downloads worldwide.

Niantic, Inc., The Pokémon Company, and Nintendo Co., Ltd., will all contribute to the Pokémon GO project.

Furthermore, Junichi Masuda of Game Freak Inc., the game director of the Pokémon video game series, is also contributing to the project. He is hard at work ensuring that the fun of Pokémon makes its way into this new project, and is also looking to come up with new kinds of gameplay while thinking of ways to connect this project with the main series of Pokémon video games.

Pokémon GO will be available for download at no charge on the App Store and Google Play. In-app purchases will be available.


Craig Majaski

Craig has been covering the video game industry since 1995. His work has been published across a wide spectrum of media sites. He's currently the Editor-In-Chief of Nintendo Times and contributes to Gaming Age.

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