All the sessions from Transform 2021 are available on-demand now. Watch now.
Pokémon Go is so popular in Japan that some players are also diving into the studio’s other game as well.
Ingress, the GPS-powered location-based predecessor to Pokémon Go from developer Niantic, is the No. 6 most downloaded game in Japan, according to market-intelligence firm Sensor Tower. The game entered the top 10 in that country over the weekend following the release of the Google maps-enabled pocket-monster-catching app late last week. This resurgence for Ingress is unique to Japan, as the game is not in the top 50 in most other countries. Mobile gaming is a $36.9 billion business, and Pokémon Go is capturing a huge piece of that as No. 1 on both the download and grossing charts across iOS and Android in more than 30 regions around the world.
Ingress has players walking around their neighborhoods, towns, and cities looking for special locations and items scattered around their environment. Ingress uses your smartphone’s GPS to track your position, and then it lets you know if you’re close to special portals that you can interact with and claim for one of three teams.
Three top investment pros open up about what it takes to get your video game funded.
Niantic took Ingress and used that as the backbone for Pokémon Go, which puts special PokéStops and gyms at many of the same locations that feature portals in Ingress.
While Pokémon Go instantly grew into a cultural phenomenon, however, most people around the world have ignored Nantic’s work with Ingress. But that’s not the case in Japan, where players have taken a renewed interest in the game.
This excitement around Ingress isn’t new in Japan. The game had a significant following in the country when it launched in 2012. That led to tea company Ito En building a special Ingress-themed vending machine that is still operational in Tokyo.
Ingress’s return in Japan suggests that some players are downloading it alongside Pokémon Go to kill two location-based Pidgey’s with one Geodude.
GamesBeatGamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. How will you do that? Membership includes access to:
- Newsletters, such as DeanBeat
- The wonderful, educational, and fun speakers at our events
- Networking opportunities
- Special members-only interviews, chats, and "open office" events with GamesBeat staff
- Chatting with community members, GamesBeat staff, and other guests in our Discord
- And maybe even a fun prize or two
- Introductions to like-minded parties