Chinese Pokémon Fans May Miss Out on Global Hit, Niantic Potentially Loses Huge Audience.

Pokémon Go blocked from release in China, Government officials cite security as their reason.

The Chinese Government is evaluating augmented reality games like Pokémon Go for security reasons. The game that brought Pokémon fever back won’t be releasing in China until these possible risks are assessed.

Source: Credit George Etheredge/The New York Times
Reuters reports that the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television finds a “high level of responsibility to national security and the safety of people’s lives and property.”

The game focuses on exploring real-life neighborhoods and cities, and last year led a teenager to find a dead body in a river.

Until similar risks can be judged, the Chinese government will not allow fans to download and play the game, leaving Niantic out of millions of potential players.

Pokémon Go topped the mobile market charts for weeks straight, and although the number of daily users is dwindling, the craze that swept the nation will likely be remembered for years to come.

If the Chinese release of Pokémon Go resembles that of the US launch, this set-back blocks Niantic from gaining huge profits.

Another hurdle for the game is its usage of Google Maps services, which are currently blocked in China.

Pokémon Go released an update at the end of last year introducing a few Pokémon from the second generation.

Associate Editor

Published Jan. 11th 2017

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