Another 'Pokémon GO' Imminent? Sony 'Aggressively' Pursuing Mobile Gaming After 'Game …

Kaz Hirai, Sony’s chief executive officer, said that mobile gaming is a path that the company is “aggressively getting into” following the “game-changer” success of “Pokémon GO.” The executive, however, acknowledged that augmented reality gaming is “quite a shift” from Sony’s usual business centered on gaming consoles and mobile phones.
(Photo : Carl Court/Getty Images)

Nintendo’s worldwide “Pokémon GO” success has prompted other tech companies to pursue mobile gaming and recreate the augmented reality game’s wild popularity. Sony is one of those tech firms hoping to follow Nintendo’s footsteps.

Kaz Hirai, Sony’s chief executive officer, told the Financial Times at the IFA consumer electronics expo in Berlin, Germany that mobile gaming is a path that the company is “aggressively getting into” following the “game-changer” success of “Pokémon GO.” Hirai said he is “very interested” in the augmented reality game’s “potential to really change the way people move, literally.”

Added Hirai, augmented reality is a “great innovative idea” that’s bound to raise the video game industry to new heights. The executive, however, acknowledged that augmented reality gaming is “quite a shift” from Sony’s usual business centered on gaming consoles like the PlayStation Portable and PSP Go and mobile phones such as its Xperia line.

In March, Sony Computer Entertainment formed ForwardWorks Corporation, a studio that will create apps based on PlayStation games and characters, Polygon reported. The apps will be available to smart devices and smartphones in Japan and Asia.

“Pokémon GO” was developed and published by Niantic Labs with the help of the Pokémon Company. Nintendo’s $30 million investment in Niantic means it receives about 10 percent of the game’s revenues. Nintendo also has a 33 percent stake in the Pokémon Company, which has a 30 percent take on “Pokémon GO’s” income, according to a separate report from Financial Times.

“Pokémon GO” can be downloaded for free on Apple and Android stores. The revenue comes from in-game microtransactions when players buy consumable items for the game, The Verge noted.

In August, it was reported that “Pokémon GO” increased the sales of other Pokémon games available on the Nintendo 3DS, VentureBeat reported from SuperData Research. The latter also dubbed “Pokémon GO” as the most successful mobile game launch in history, besting “Monster Strike,” “Mobile Strike,” “Clash of Clans,” and “Clash Royale.”

Nintendo’s share price surged to 24.52 percent and added $7.5 billion to the company’s market value a week after “Pokémon GO” was released in July. That was the firm’s highest one-day increase since 1983.

“Pokémon GO” statistics published by DMR found that there is a $10 million estimated amount of revenue generated by the game every day. The game has now reached 30 countries, with Niantic wishing to bring it to 200 markets. On its first day (July 6), “Pokémon GO” earned between $3.9 million and $4.9 million.

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