Is it Christmas already? Because Santa (in our case Niantic) has finally decided to bring Pokémon GO to all the good boys and girls in India. The game will come to India tomorrow, which is December 14, (nearly five months from its official launch) thanks to a new Reliance Jio and Niantic partnership. The partnership will also result in thousands of Reliance Digital Stores and their select partners in the country to become Pokémon Gyms or PokéStops – a masterstroke by Reliance.
“We are delighted to partner with Jio to launch Pokémon GO in India.” said John Hanke, Chief Executive Officer and founder of Niantic. “It’s exciting to see Pokémon fans in India step out and explore their neighbourhoods in search of Pokémon and Jio’s disruptive high speed 4G LTE Network will be an excellent way to experience the game.”
The extremely popular Augmented Reality game was launched on July 7 and became available in hundreds of countries across the globe, but failed to reach Indian stores until now. The AR game is based on the popular anime TV show, Pokémon, and uses geo-locations to place Pokémon across important landmarks and areas in cities. A player then needs to walk around his/her city to find and catch Pokémon that appear on their screen superimposed on the background of what your camera sees. Pokémon trainers also have to traverse through the city to look for Pokémon Stops to resupply, and fight at Pokémon Gyms to take control of them for their own team.
The game requires a smartphone with an active data connection, camera and GPS to run. The partnership clearly intends to up the subscriptions rates of Reliance Jio connections, which is offering promotional free data, voice calling, roaming and more to all users until March 2017.
Pokémon GO has over 500 million downloads globally said Mathew Oommen, President Reliance Jio. “Our partnership with Niantic not only brings access to the Pokémon GO app but also opens the door to more opportunities for our customers to enjoy content on Jio’s one-of-a-kind mobile broadband network,” he added.
As the game reached its popularity in July, most users across India were able to download the game from third-party websites and by using proxy app stores. It is not known as to how many people in India are actively playing the AR game right now, but its official launch might bring a second wave of popularity for it – also, thanks to the free Internet connection from Jio.