Reliance Jio has announced something that will make gaming enthusiasts in India quite Happy! Reliance Jio Infocomm has forged a strategic partnership with Niantic, Inc. – publisher and developer of Pokémon GO, an uber popular augmented reality game to India. With this partnership, thousands of Reliance Digital Stores and select partner premises in India will appear as ‘PokéStops’ or ‘Gyms’ in the Pokémon GO game beginning Wednesday, December 14, 2016.
In addition to this, Jio’s social messaging app, JioChat will feature a exclusive Pokémon Go Channel. The Pokémon Go Channel will enable Pokémon Go players to collaborate and be part of an community of players with daily tips, contests, clues, and special events. The Pokémon Go Channel on JioChat a fun way to socialize with other players and level-up faster.
Mathew Oommen, President – Reliance Jio said at the time of the launch, “With over 500 million downloads globally, we are excited to launch Pokémon GO officially in India on the Reliance Jio network. Our partnership with Niantic not only brings access to the Pokémon GO app but also opens the door to more opportunities for our customers to enjoy content on Jio’s one-of-a-kind mobile broadband network.”
Jio also announced that during the period of Happy New Year Offer, Jio SIM customers will be able to download and play Pokémon GO without incurring data charges, like any other apps and content, till 31st March 2017.
Reliance Jio has been constantly saying that they are Digital content company and not a telecom network as many believe it to be. The launch of Pokémon Go Channel on JioChat and making Reliance Digital stores as ‘PokéStops’ or ‘Gyms’ is in line with that vision. This is one of the first of many such initiatives that we will see from Jio in coming days.
Having said that, while Pokémon Go was a rage when it launched few months back, it’s popularity is on the wane and many people who played this game have stopped doing so. It will be interesting to see whether this new partnership will bring back Indian gamers back into Pokémon Go fold, especially because consumers will not have to pay any charges on the data consumed while playing Pokémon Go.