Briefing: NetEase to launch first official Pokémon mobile game in China

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网易发布中国首款正版《精灵宝可梦》手游 – TechWeb

What happened: NetEase on Monday said it would partner with The Pokémon Company and Gamefreak to release “Pokémon Quest” in China, marking the first official release of a Pokémon game in the country. Released in June 2018, “Pokémon Quest” features cube-shaped Pokémon similar to that in the game “Minecraft.” NetEase started testing the game in March 2019, and still only allows users to sign up for what appears to be another beta during summer vacation. The release date of the game is still unknown.

Why it’s important: Pokémon is a highly popular series in China, and NetEase’s release of “Pokémon Quest” could help the company boost its gaming revenue, which saw strong growth in the first quarter of 2019. Tencent’s “Pokémon Go” clone, “Let’s Hunt Monsters,” for instance, has been among the top 10 games in the free game chart of Apple’s Chinese App Store for a month since its launch. The recent box office hit “Detective Pikachu,” which features the most widely known Pokémon, also amassed $70.3 million in China region ticket sales in fewer than 10 days.