KUALA LUMPUR: Fuelling speculation that Pokemon GO may be launched in Malaysia soon, Hotlink and Grab Malaysia, which also manages ride-sharing service GrabCar, have begun a publicity campaign to promote a joint service for fans playing the game.
Both companies announced that in the first two days following the launch of the wildly popular augmented reality game, players can book free rides on a special PokeMobile car through the Grab mobile app to the destinations of their choice to catch Pokemon.
Fashioned with the wings and flaming tail of a Charizard, there will be four of these PokeMobiles roaming around the Klang Valley.
PokeMobile riders who are Hotlink customers will also be given US$100 (RM405) worth of PokeCoins via Hotlink Cash Online. PokeCoins are used to level up Pokemon in the game.
Hotlink customers can also enjoy 10% discounts for all in-app purchases in Pokemon GO, said Hotlink content and engagement head Maybel Chan.
“Everyone is anxious. We are also anticipating this. Pokemon GO is going to come, it’s just a question of when. That is going to be soon,” she told reporters during the campaign launch here Monday morning.
Grab Malaysia country manager Jaygan Fu said the campaign would also allow a lucky few Pokemon GO players to start off their gaming experience safely.
Pokemon GO releases in other countries have been followed with media reports of injuries and accidents resulting from players transfixed with the game on their phones.
“We wanted to encourage and help Pokemon trainers hunt for the Pokemon while travelling from one PokeStop to another safely.
“In addition to our exclusive PokeMobiles, players can truly enjoy an immersive Pokemon GO experience and up their ante as each car comes equipped with a special Grab goodie bag, a car handphone charger and water for uninterrupted gaming pleasure,” he said.
Maxis and Grab Malaysia were tight lipped on when the highly anticipated game will be debuting here, though leaked information suggests it will be within this month.
Malaysia, which was initially left out in the Pokemon Go craze during the announcement of the creation of servers in eight countries in Asia, will finally get its own server soon.
The augmented-reality game requires players to go outdoors and “catch” Pokemon via the geo-location on their smartphones.
Pokemon Go was first released in United States, Australia, Germany and Britain.
But, Japan, the country of origin where game company Nintendo started the mythical creature franchise 20 years ago, had to wait 12 days after its launch to receive the game.
Game Freak, who is the primary developer of Pokemon and Niantic, its partner in developing the new mobile game, later issued an apology to the Japanese public for the delay.