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‘India is the Epicenter of Mobile Gaming’: Niantic’s New Focus on the Subcontinent

In a recent interview, Omar Tellez, VP for Emerging Markets at Niantic, the company behind the global sensation Pokémon Go, emphasized the growing importance of India in the mobile gaming landscape. “India has shown us a way how mobile gaming is done,” Tellez said during an event in Delhi. The statement comes as Niantic aims to make India one of its top five markets for Pokémon Go.

Why India?

  • Mobile-First Gaming Market: India is predominantly a mobile-first gaming market, with 98.8% of users playing games on their mobile phones.
  • Affordable Data Plans: The high penetration of smartphones and cheaper data tariffs make India an attractive market for mobile game developers.
  • Local Adaptation: Niantic has localized Pokémon Go for Indian players by renaming all 800+ Pokémon in Hindi and adjusting in-game pricing.

Niantic’s Strategy

Niantic is not just stopping at localization; the company has plans to engage the Indian audience further. They plan to kick off a variety of live events and community days to build a fan base for Pokémon Go in India. The game is free to download, and the company makes money through in-game purchases, raid passes, and incubators.

Challenges Ahead

  • Monetization: Despite a large user base, monetization remains a challenge in India.
  • Brand Recognition: Gaining the attention of mobile gamers who are not familiar with Pokémon or the Pokémon brand is another hurdle.

The Future

With 70 million monthly active users globally, Pokémon Go still has a large user base, and India is expected to fuel the next wave of growth. The core base of the game continues to be between the ages of 18 and 34, but Niantic also aims to serve parents and the entire family with Pokémon Go.

Key Takeaways

  • India is becoming a focal point for Niantic, with plans to make it one of the top five markets for Pokémon Go.
  • The company has localized the game by renaming all Pokémon in Hindi and plans to host live events to engage with the community.
  • Challenges like monetization and brand recognition remain, but the future looks promising with India expected to fuel the next wave of growth for Pokémon Go.

Note: The information is based on an article published on Indian Express on September 16, 2023.