Tsunekazu Ishihara, CEO of the Pokémon Company International, said the company has partnered with China’s NetEase in making the first official Pokemon game for China. That is just one of a number of games the Japanese company announced today.
In a livestreamed event, Ethan Wang, vice president and head of game publishing at China’s NetEase, said the company will release the first Pokémon game in China, Pokémon Quest China, which will add player-versus-player and social systems. NetEase has four of the top 10 games in China (as of April) and more than 550 million active users. More than million people have registered for Pokémon Quest China, which NetEase is working on with Game Freak.
Hiro Matsuoka, managing director of Toho, the maker of the Detective Pikachu movie, said he will now be a director on the board of Pokémon Company International. Toho was an investor in the Pikachu movie and handled its distribution in Japan, and Matsuoka said the May 3 release of the Pikachu movie was a great success. The company will soon debut another Pokémon movie, dubbed Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution, in July.
The company’s partner, Creatures Inc., developed the Detective Pikachu 3DS game, but the conclusion to the story will now be coming to the Nintendo Switch, which will have a different ending than what people saw in theaters.
The company also opened a Pokémon Center store in Singapore, and another will open in Tokyo’s Shibuya district this fall. The stores will merge Pokémon with the latest technology, the company said.
Junichi Masuda, board member and game designer at game developer Game Freak, said the companies are working on Pokémon Home, a hub for all the Pokémon that you collect in a variety of games across various platforms. You can trade with other players, friends, and battle with trainers nearby. The idea is to bring together the broad audiences across many games.
Fans are fond of their Pokémon collections, no matter which game they’re from. So Pokémon Home will be a place where players can bring those characters together and socialize with each other.
Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield details will be revealed on June 5 in a special Nintendo Direct livestream. Pokémon will also be part of a new app that gamifies your sleeping. It is a natural follow-up to Pokémon Go, which gets people off the couch and walking around. Now the company wants to get people to sleep better.
Select Button will create a game called Pokémon Sleep, for release in 2020. Nintendo and Niantic are also working on turning “resting” into gameplay.
Kazuhiro Maruyama, head of gadgets at Nintendo, said the company will make a new device for the sleep game, akin to the Pokémon Go Plus device and the Pokémon controller hardware released in the past.
Pokémon Go Plus+ is the name of the new device, which functions like a Pokémon Go Plus in the day, searching for Pokémon creatures. If you put it on your bed at night, it will track information like how you sleep at night. The results are tracked via accelerometer and sent to your smartphone via Bluetooth. The goal is to help you get better sleep.
Niantic CEO John Hanke said that Pokémon Go will find ways to reward good sleep, which will give people more energy to walk around and play Pokémon Go.
And DeNA is working on Pokémon Masters, a new role-playing mobile game that will launch on iOS and Android later this year.
Lastly, what would a Pokémon event be without some merchandise? The company said it will launch Pokémon Shirts, which have been on sale in Asia, on the global market.