Pokemon GO aiming for release in China, says Pokemon Company's CEO

New features still on their way

Pokemon GO aiming for release in China, says Pokemon Company's CEO

The Pokemon Company's CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara has confirmed that the studio is looking to bring Pokemon GO to China.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Ishihara stated that he wanted to expand the game to the market, but that issues regarding maps still need to be resolved.

Pokemon GO is built on Google Maps, which is limited in China and South Korea, therefore making the game unsuitable for playing in those regions.

Ishihara also claimed to be surprised by the game's success, saying that he felt "the reaction we saw was 10 times or even 100 times bigger than we expected."

Keep is casual

He also said that features such as battling and trading were coming, but that the game would introduce them slowly.

"Battling is a category that we do best at Pokemon, after all," said Ishihara, adding that "it’s important to really carefully consider any feature that may increase the difficulty and raise the barrier to entry for more casual users."

While the game is not officially available in China, there have been cases of players in the region reportedly showing up in Japan to stoke nationalist discord.

And adding new features could come even slower than expected now that Niantic Labs will have to take into consideration how they will work on Apple Watch and Android Wear.

But adding a new region to Pokemon GO's reach would definitely be in Niantic Labs' interest, as the game has started to slip in the US App Store top grossing charts.


Ric is the Editor of, having started out as a Staff Writer on the site back in 2015. He received an honourable mention in both the MCV and Develop 30 Under 30 lists in 2016 and refuses to let anyone forget about it.