KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 1 ― Telecommunications firm Maxis and ride-sharing service provider Grab have teamed up to offer “PokeMobile” cars to take riders on Pokemon hunts as part of the yet to be launched “Pokemon Go” game.
The augmented reality game that has taken the world by storm is expected to be launched here this week, with predictions that it could be as early as tomorrow.
The game involves catching “Pokemon”, virtual reality Pocket Monsters, that can then be used for duels between players.
After the game is launched, the “PokeMobile” service will allow players to book free rides to the nearest “PokeStop” via the GrabCar application. PokeStops are where Pokemon trainers, as players are called, can obtain Pokeballs, a device used to catch Pokemon.
There are currently four cars available to go around the Klang Valley. The cars were decorated with wings and the tail of the fire Pokemon, Charizard.
According to Grab Malaysia country manager Jaygan Fu, the companies launched the PokeMobile to help avoid vehicular “chaos” once the game is launched.
“We are aware that there is a huge Pokemon following in Malaysia and we wanted to join in the thrill of the game.
“We are going to help reduce chaos with the cars,” he told reporters during the launch.
The cars will come equipped with an iPad to help locate PokeStops, a special Grab goodie bag, a smartphone charger, and water bottles.
Maxis head of content and engagement for prepaid Maybel Chan did not want to speculate on when the game would be launched, but suggested that Malaysians will not have long to wait.
“It will be soon, if you see the way the servers are going. It's a matter of when. Everyone is excited, we are gearing up for it,” she said today.
A source from the industry added that the game was scheduled for its local release this weekend, but developers were still resolving server issues.
Chan also said that Hotlink and Grab will give out US$100 (RM400) worth of PokeCoins for the first two days after the game is launched. PokeCoins is the currency that is used in the game to get more items and train Pokemons.
“After the initial two days is over, there will be secret 'Poke Shops'. We going to add some lures also for you. We going to turn on the lure and you can get as many Pokemon as possible,” she added.
Chan also said Hotlink customers will get a 10 per cent discount on all Pokemon Go in-app purchases via Hotlink Cash Online.
Gamers can also use the credit to purchase items in other popular games such as Clash of Clans and Clash Royale as well.
Internet users have spotted local servers for Pokemon Go being listed, but there has been no confirmation of the Malaysian launch by developers Niantic.
Previously, the game was launched in Hong Kong and Japan shortly after their servers were listed.
Pokemon Go has been dominating headlines across the globe after it was officially launched in New Zealand, Australia, the US and Germany on Android and iOS last month.
The game has since topped download charts in those countries, overtaking social media giants Facebook, Tinder, Twitter and Snapchat as the most downloaded application.