Niantic’s Pokemon Go could be looking to set up shop in India. A new job listing on LinkedIn posted by Alan Mandujano, Growth and Business Development Manager for Niantic Emerging Markets, suggests that the company is looking to hire employees on a contractual basis for “generating momentum and engaging local Pokemon Go communities”. Specifically, Niantic is looking for a ‘Local Growth Scout’ in India to do tasks like create local content, business development, event planning, and secure POI databases to enable local points of interest in Pokemon Go games.
The LinkedIn job posting, spotted first by IGN India, hints that Pokemon Go may be looking to increase its presence in India. Game maker Niantic is scouting for local talent who can generate momentum, attend industry events in the ‘largest cities’ in the country, and plan meetups for Pokemon Go community members. The employee may also have to generate more social noise by writing blog posts, articles, social media posts, and newsletters. The job listing hints that Niantic is looking at India as a strategic market.
Being home to the next billon smartphone users, India could be a place of immense potential for Niantic. While the pandemic was most unfavourable to AR-focussed games that required players to venture out, Niantic altered Pokemon Go game mechanics in April last year so that players could have similar fun indoors.
Last year, Sensor Tower reported that Pokemon Go grossed a lifetime collection of $3.6 billion (roughly Rs. 26,940 crores) since its launch on July 6, 2016. In the first half of 2020, the game showed collections of $445 million (roughly Rs. 3,330 crores) thanks to the alterations in game mechanics that were favourable to the lockdown.
It remains to be seen what exactly Niantic has in store for the Indian market. The company seems to be in an early hiring phase, so it may be a while before we see any tangible news on this front.