Japan’s the Pokemon Company stated on Wednesday it was developing Pokemon Sleep, a mobile app that tracks gamers’ sleep and uses the information for gameplay, with a release date set for next year.
“We wish to turn sleep into home entertainment,” said Tsunekazu Ishihara, chief executive of the Pokemon Company, which helps manage the Pokemon franchise, at an event in Tokyo.
At the very same event, Kyoto-based Nintendo said it was developing a sleep-tracking follower to its Pokemon Go Plus device, which allows users to “capture” Pokemon without getting their mobile phones.
Enhanced reality mobile phone video game Pokemon Go, developed by San Francisco-based Niantic Inc, became a worldwide phenomenon after its launch in 2016 as players spilled out from living rooms onto the streets to hunt for Pokemon.
The Pokemon Company was set up with financial investment from video gaming companies Nintendo, Game Freak and Creatures. Spanning products including computer games, motion pictures and soft toys, Pokemon is a home-grown contender for a Disney-style popular culture empire.
The first two Pokemon titles launched on the Nintendo Game Boy portable console in 1996. Ever since, the video game series has sold more than 340 million units worldwide.
Pokemon Sleep will utilize information points like the length of time the user slept and when they woke up, to alter gameplay – though the Pokemon Company did not elaborate on how gameplay would alter.
The title might assist entrench Pokemon’s appeal beyond core players and use a growing market for health-tracking services.
Nintendo has been trying to bring in casual fans of Pokemon Go to its hybrid Switch video games device with 2 beginner-friendly Pokemon Let’s Go titles, which have actually offered more than 10 million copies as at the end of March.
It will release two completely fledged Pokemon titles for the device in late 2019.
Pokemon’s global appeal is shown in the success of motion picture Pokemon Detective Pikachu, which has actually taken more than $120 million (roughly Rs. 840 crores) at box offices in North America. The move includes the yellow Pikachu character – often the face of Pokemon – as a Sherlock Holmes-like crime-buster, complete with deerstalker.
A follow up to the Detective Pokemon game for the Nintendo 3DS handheld console will be released for the Switch, the Pokemon Company said.
Pokemon’s success comes as Nintendo broadens the series of outlets for its popular characters, with Italian plumbing technician Mario to feature at a Nintendo-themed land under building at Osaka’s Universal Studios Japan amusement park.
At Wednesday’s occasion in Tokyo, Chinese partner NetEase – which will release a regional variation of mobile video game Pokemon Quest – likewise said it intends to bring more Pokemon games to China.
Nintendo is likewise working with Chinese gaming leader Tencent Holdings to launch its Switch device in the nation.