Pokemon Go Is Getting Way Too Popular

Gamers seem to be falling in love with Nintendo’s new Pokemon GO smartphone game, raising hopes that the company’s long-awaited shift into mobile gaming will pay off.

Since its launch late Wednesday in the United States, the title has shot up to claim the No. 1 free app ranking in Apple’s U.S. iTunes store. It was also launched in Australia and New Zealand this week and will soon be rolled out in Japan, other parts of Asia and Europe.

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The game, which has players walking around their neighborhoods in real life to search out and capture Pokemon characters on their smartphones, earned enthusiastic reviews by fans on Twitter despite some glitches.

Pokemon games have a deep fan base with the first title dating back to 1996. While free, Pokemon GO offers in-app purchases for power-ups and extra items.

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Nintendo also stands to make money from its Pokemon Go Plus — an accessory that will alert players when they come close to Pokemon so that they don’t always have to be looking at their phones. It will be released in late July and will be priced at $34.99 in the United States.

The company has promised four more smartphone games in the financial year to end-March and has said it expects mobile gaming to help boost annual operating profit by a third to 45 billion yen ($450 million). It also plans to release its next console globally in March.

#Pokemon Go Is Getting Way Too Popular