Pokémon Go to Officially Launch in India, Jio Stores to Function as Pokéstops
Pokémon fans have surely something to cherish about now, as the popular mobile game called Pokémon Go by Niantic is making an official entry into the country tomorrow. While, Pokémon Go was unofficially available for download for Indian users ever since it leaked on the web back in July, its services were disrupted soon after. Now, the official entry into the country would mean addition of a whole lot of new features which weren’t available before.
Previously the most annoying issue with Pokémon Go was the availability of gyms and Pokéstops. Initially users in India could access such locations via the map that’s displayed on the Pokémon Go app. However, these were soon removed from the map and the game became unplayable in India. That said, with the official release; Niantic Inc. who are apparently the maker of this app has tied up with Reliance Jio for these Pokéstops. This means that Reliance Digital and Digital Xpress Mini stores around you would appear as ‘Pokéstops’ and ‘gyms’ in the game. Niantic had previously partnered with McDonald group in Japan for sponsored Pokéstops.
Just in case you are unaware about how this game works then let me tell about it in brief. Basically the game is based on augmented reality or AR in short wherein you are required to visit various places around you to collect Pokémon’s, fight battles, hatch eggs and even train them. The places in question are apparently physical destinations near your neighborhood and are referred to as Pokéstops and gyms depending on the function of that place. This tie-up between Niantic and Reliance Jio would help increase footfall in Reliance Digital stores which otherwise used to remain quite empty; especially before Jio was launched. The increased footfall indirectly means better business for Reliance and will also allow users to experience Jio’s high speed 4G LTE network.
Pokémon GO is said to receive a major update in December that would bring in a total of 100 new Pokémon’s to the game. Besides, the update is expected to come with the long awaited Pokémon trading feature. This means that you would be able to trade off the Pokémon you raised to another buddy for some of money; albeit it isn’t real money! It is also reported that with the new update players will be able to raise Pokémon’s as soon as they are hatched from eggs. To help aid, the process of trading of Pokémon’s, Jio is said to increase a special channel in their Jio Chat application where players can interact with each other regarding the tips, tricks, trade secrets and location of Pokémon’s.
Pokémon Go is coming to India at a time when the game has almost lost its initial spike. Soon after, its release in July this year the game sprung up to the number 1 spot in the PlayStore and Appstore with over 500 million global downloads. The reception of the game in India were exceptional a few months back, hence it would be interesting to see how users respond once Pokémon Go goes official tomorrow.
In related news, Pokémon Go recieved an update two days back which apparently adds a number of new Pokémon into the game. These include Piku, Togepi and other Pokémons pulled from the second generation Pokémon Gold and Silver. That said, Niantic hasn’t revealed the list of Pokémons that has been added to game, thus it isn’t yet clear whether this update is actually the mega December update which was rumoured initially. Pokémon Go is using Sprint stores in US as Pokéstops similar to the upcoming Reliance Jio implementation.