SAN FRANCISCO — The Pokémon Company and Niantic, Inc. announced that Pokémon GO, the global mobile game that invites players to go out and explore their surroundings to find and catch Pokémon, has surpassed more than 500 million downloads around the world since launching in July. The game, which holds the App Store record for the most downloads in its first week of launch, is based on the iconic Pokémon franchise and is published and developed by Niantic, Inc.
At Wednesday’s Apple event in San Francisco, Niantic unveiled details about Pokémon GO for Apple Watch. Fans can look forward to Pokémon GO for Apple Watch to launch later in 2016.
Pokémon has been a leader in gaming and at the forefront of emerging technologies since the first game launched in Japan 20 years ago. The Pokémon brand quickly became a global sensation and hasn’t left the zeitgeist of popular culture since. Icons of the franchise, such as Pikachu, are beloved and recognized by generations of fans around the world, and the brand’s total retail sales exceed $2 billion annually across video games, the Pokémon Trading Card Game, animation, licensing, and more.
“The phenomenal success of Pokémon GO during the brand’s 20-year celebration is an incredible reminder of how many people around the world love Pokémon,” said Tsunekazu Ishihara, president and CEO of The Pokémon Company. “The team at Niantic developed a unique experience that merges their expertise in cutting-edge location-based technologies with the beloved characters and classic gameplay of Pokémon. This ideal match of the right brand and the right technology has resonated with hundreds of millions of existing and new fans around the world.”
“The globally loved Pokémon brand paired with Niantic’s platform and game design that encourages exploration, exercise and making real world social connections has inspired millions of people of all ages to go outdoors together,” said John Hanke, CEO of Niantic, Inc. “We are encouraged by the fast adoption of the game and are pleased to see so many people walk and play every day. Pokémon GO for Apple Watch will be another way people can incorporate the game into their daily lives, even more seamlessly.”
Pokémon GO is now played in more than 100 countries around the world and available on iOS and Android.