Pokemon Go was officially launched in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh more than five months after its original global release date. “The Niantic team had to resolve a few administrative challenges before launching in order to ensure we could provide the best experience possible,” said the game developers.
The augmented reality game will relaunch in partnership with Reliance Jio. “With this partnership, thousands of Reliance Digital Stores and select partner premises in India will appear as ‘PokéStops’ or ‘Gyms’ in the Pokémon Go game beginning December 14,” said Reliance Jio in a statement adding that players on the Jio network can play the game without paying for additional data charges till March 31, 2017 as part of their Happy New Year offer.
Most Indians, however, have been playing the game for months now by downloading the app from international app stores.
The app peaked at 79 million downloads in July and plunged to less than 10 million in November mobile trackers Apptopia told BBC. Slice Intelligence had estimated an almost 80% drop in popularity in September after a summer high.
Analysts say that although downloads and revenue have fallen, it still is one of the highest grossing mobile games with a massive player base.
Niantic Inc., the developer of the game, recently launched new Pokemon characters including Togepi and Pichu, a festive Santa hat wearing Pikachu that can be captured until 29 December and a new Gen 2 egg update.