Tencent is making Pokemon mobile games, but they’ll probably stay exclusive to China

Pikachu goes east

The Pokémon Company realizes there’s a huge missed opportunity in not having Pokémon in China. Given China’s affinity for mobile gaming, the obvious and easy candidate is Pokémon Go. That’s a no-go, though. China’s legislatures have banned Google services within the country, and Pokémon Go requires a Google account to play. As such, developer Niantic doesn’t support GPS services in China because it’s a restricted country.

So, The Pokémon Company is going straight to domestic developers to bring Pokémon to China — and there’s no Chinese developer that’s bigger than Tencent. The Pokémon Company and Tencent are teaming up to bring multiple Pokémon games 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 be Pokémon Go; The Pokémon Company presumably still has an agreement with NetEase to port this game to China. (Also, as GamesIndustry.biz points out, Tencent already created a Pokémon 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 new Pokémon 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.

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Brett Makedonski
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