Pokémon Go has enjoyed enormous global success but, until now, was not available in one major gaming hub. Finally, the game has arrived in South Korea, six months after its release elsewhere in the world. Niantic said the delay was caused by translation into Korean but it is more widely speculated that this was actually down to South Korea refusing Google Maps access to its maps.
Pokémon Go took the world by storm last year. It made more than $160m in its first four weeks and raked in revenues of around $950m (£768m) in 2016.
“South Korea’s bustling cities and rolling green hills filled with history highly complement the exploration, exercise, and social aspects of Pokémon GO,” Niantic said in a post to Pokémon Go’s international Facebook page. “With its robust technology infrastructure, South Korea has one of the strongest gaming communities in the world, with a large population of dedicated Pokémon fans. We are especially excited that they will now be able to explore their world with Pokémon GO.”
According to Newzoo, South Korea saw gaming revenue of US$4bn (£3bn) last year – with 48 per cent of the total revenue coming from mobile gaming.
Newzoo says: “South Korea is the fifth largest games market globally and the third largest in APAC behind China and Japan. Mobile takes the largest share of the market, followed by PC/MMO. Over 60 per cent of South Korean gamers spend money and their annual average spend per paying gamer is among the highest in the world.”