Having been released little over a week ago, the Pokemon GO game has already been dominating headlines all over the world. While it has been officially released in only a few countries, millions of people around the world have been playing the game after being able to sideload it from various APK websites. However, that will soon change as the head developer of the game has big plans for it, with plans to officially release the game in roughly 200 countries and regions.
Chief executive of Niantic, John Hanke doesn't want to limit the number of markets the game will reach. Niantic developed the Pokemon GO game with Nintendo affiliate Pokemon Company. While Hanke did say that the game will be rolling out to other regions soon, he decline to give a specific time frame for the rollout. He also mentioned that it took the company's first augmented reality game, Ingress a month or two to reach around 200 markets possibly hinting that it might take that long for the Pokemon GO rollout. Hanke's comments helped Nintendo shares to rise a further 10% on Friday, which has set a record in daily trading volume for individual stock on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. As it is, Nintendo shares have risen 86% since the release of Pokemon GO last week which has added $17 billion to its market value.
As for the availability of the game in Japan, Hanke stated that the game will be released in the country soon. The original Pokemon series originated from Japan, having been created by Satoshi Tajiri in 1995. The game will also ultimately be coming to South Korea, where the mapping function in the game is restricted due to security issues with North Korea. Niantic is working to fix the mapping issue which Hanke said there are solutions to. Regarding China, he said it is technically possible to launch the game there, but noted that there are regulations that have to be considered. He declined to comment further on a potential China rollout. At the moment, the Pokemon GO game is officially available in Australia, New Zealand, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and was released in three other countries today, namely Italy, Portugal and Spain.