GungHo, whose Puzzle & Dragons was once the world’s highest-earning mobile game, is looking to tap into the popularity of Pokémon GO-style gameplay via Yo-kai Watch World, which also uses Google Maps to create 3D game environments based on real-world locations. The game is now available in Japan on Android and iOS devices.
The Japanese publisher saw its sales slump from the 173.1 billion yen ($1.6 billion) peak in 2014 as the puzzle-cum-strategy game failed to catch on abroad and popularity at home has waned. It released a location-based version called Puzzle & Dragons Radar in March 2016, but was overshadowed by Pokemon Go’s frenzy only four months later.
“We are putting that location-based experience from Puzzle & Dragons Radar to work here,” President Kazuki Morishita said in a briefing in Tokyo. “And we have the combination of Google’s advanced 3-D maps, a first time for something like that, and the appeal of Yokai Watch.”