Apple partners with Niantic to unleash Pokemon Go on its new watch
Pokemon Go, the now popular augmented reality (AR) game developed by Niantic, Inc and The Pokémon Company has seen a lot of activity in the last few months. From initially adding $9 billion in market value to its minority investor, Nintendo to beating Twitter and Clash of Clans in terms of daily active users. While Pokemon Go has earned an estimated $440 million in revenue, reports have suggested that the game had reached its peak in USA and was on the decline.
But Apple and Niantic made a surprise announcement on Wednesday, where they revealed that Pokemon Go would be one of the games on Apple's new Apple Watch Series 2.
John Hanke, CEO of Niantic, took the stage at Apple's event at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. He noted that since the launch in early July this year, the game has so far crossed surpassed 500 million downloads around the world, with players having collectively walked 4.6 billion kilometres. He said,
Pokemon Go is about exploration. It is also about having fun outside with your family and friends. Because of that we have been really interested in finding ways to let people play the game by focussing less on the (mobile)screen and more about the environment around you.
Niantic also noted that Pokemon Go is currently played in more than 100 countries around the world and they are working hard to bring the game to more countries. They also claimed that over the course of their international expansion, they have got great response from people across different ages and lifestyles about how Pokemon Go has been a force for good in their lives.
While Niantic's original plan was to leverage Pokemon Go Plus- an accessory developed by Nintendo- the company announced that it also worked to develop Pokemon Go for Apple's new Apple Watch Series 2. John then gave the audience a demo of how Pokemon Go would work on the Apple Watch with the help of one of his Product Managers. In a release on their company blog, Niantic noted,
Apple Watch will add a seamless way to interact with the game through easy trackers, haptic notifications and quick taps to keep playing. Additionally, the Pokémon GO app for Apple Watch encourages workouts with summaries of your activity, which fits in nicely both with Niantic’s mission to get you moving as well as with the way many people already use their Apple Watch. Pokémon GO will come to Apple Watch later in the year so stay tuned.
In case you missed the livestream, Apple has summarised all the major updates in 107 seconds-