Briefing: Tencent’s ‘Pokémon Go’ lookalike tops Apple’s app chart after a week

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这款“霸榜”一周的AR游戏背后,腾讯有何企图? – Rancaijing

What happened: Tencent’s AR mobile game, “Yiqi Lai Zhuo Yao,” (our translation: “let’s catch monsters together”), has topped the chart for free games on Apple’s China App Store a week after release. The game, which bears strong resemblance to hit mobile title “Pokémon Go,” has been downloaded close to three million times on Apple’s App Store as of writing, according to app database website Qimai.com. Tencent also enabled chat groups in the game to redirect users to corresponding WeChat groups—a feature denied to its two other popular mobile titles, “Honour of Kings” and “PUBG Mobile.”

Why it’s important: While Pokémon Go has achieved worldwide success, amassing $2.5 billion in player spending since its release in 2017 according to analytics firm Sensor Tower, it wasn’t officially available in China until earlier this year. Even so, a number of features remain unavailable. The more localized features of  “Yiqi Lai Zhuo Yao,” such as allowing users to be indoor to play—unlike Pokémon Go—could potentially help Tencent tap into China’s AR mobile game market. Social functions that are closely connected with WeChat, and thus Tencent’s existing social ecosystem, could potentially lengthen the game’s lifespan.