Niantic, the American software company behind the popular Pokemon Go app, are set to launch the augmented reality game in China.
The game could not be launched by Niantic acting alone due to Chinese regulations on online content. Foreign firms must have a partner to launch digital ventures. Niantic has consequently partnered with local company NetEase on the launch.
Pokemon Go uses Augmented Reality (AR) to allow players to find and catch animated monsters in the real world. The app became a global phenomenon – being downloaded over 500 million times worldwide.
Player numbers have since dwindled, but the company insists there is still a loyal core. A recent funding round raised $200m from investors that would fuel expansion.
Niantic plans to use their technical experience from Pokemon Go development for future ventures.
In the second half of 2018, they will launch a game based around the popular Harry Potter series of stories.
AR is an increasing trend in many sectors. Niantic will face competition from Google, Apple, Facebook and Snap all of whom have released AR toolkits for developers.
When it was launched, Pokemon Go provided an increase in attendance for some museums and attractions.