Pikachu goes east
The Pokémon Company realizes there’s a huge missed opportunity in not havingPokémonin China. Given China’s affinity for mobile gaming, the obvious and easy candidate isPokémon Go. That’s a no-go, though. China’s legislatures have banned Google services within the country, andPokémon Gorequires a Google account to play. As such, developer Niantic doesn’t support GPS services in China because it’s a restricted country.
So,ThePokémonCompany is going straight to domestic developers to bringPokémonto China — and there’s no Chinese developer that’s bigger than Tencent.ThePokémonCompany and Tencent are teaming up to bring multiplePokémongames to China. They’ll be made by one of Tencent’s internal developers, TiMi Studio Group.
The announcement doesn’t specify anything about any of the games, just that there’s a partnership to create something. There’s a good chance they’ll be mobile games because that’s where Tencent’s expertise lies. However, none of them are likely to bePokémon Go;ThePokémonCompany presumably still has an agreement with NetEase to port this game to China. (Also, as GamesIndustry.biz points out, Tencent already created aPokémon Go clone called Let’s Hunt Monsters, and it dominated the mobile charts earlier this year.)
Instead — and this is entirely speculation — they’ll probably be brand newPokémon titles that never see a release outside of China. If that’s the case, the vast majority of people reading this won’t be able to catch ’em all.