For fans of Nintendo franchises and the Pokemon game series, the release of Niantic’s next big project is highly anticipated and is stirring much excitement within the mobile gaming community. Known as Pokemon GO and initially announced last year, Niantic had the mobile gaming world on the edge of their seats waiting to hear more information about the game and what it would include. Just at the end of last month some new footage of Pokemon GO and how it would look was shown off at the SXSW conference, and only a couple of days later Niantic officially released more details about the upcoming Pokemon GO augmented reality title, including the announcement of a limited test run of the game in action in Japan.
Today, Niantic is officially announcing that they are expanding the areas of their in-field testing for Pokemon GO, stating that both Australia and New Zealand are now part of the closed public test. Having said that, it’s worth mentioning that any players within the region that are interested in being a tester are required to sign up to be accepted into the field test, and there is no guarantee that everyone who signs up will be granted access, so just like any other beta or alpha game testing, users will only have a chance at getting in.
With expansions for the field test happening in two new areas, this opens up the possibility that Niantic may open field testing for Pokemon GO to other global regions as well, although there was no mention of new testing areas in today’s blog post or in other official statements. There is no set release date for Pokemon GO just yet, but it’s expected to launch sometime globally later on this year. Once it hits the Play Store it will be a free install just as Ingress was, and will allow a similar style of gameplay where gamers can travel around to real-world locations to discover and capture Pokemon, battle other Pokemon trainers, and capture locations and hold control of the Pokemon gyms. If you’ve long been a fan of the Pokemon franchise, this is a game worth keeping up to date on.