CryptoKitties, Pokémon Go Combination Becomes China's Most Popular Mobile Game

Chinese gaming giant Tencent has recently launched a game called Let’s Hunt Monsters, which is essentially a title that merges concepts underlying in both CryptoKitties and Pokémon Go. Merely days after launch it has become China’s number one mobile game on the iOS app store.

According to the South China Morning Post, the Shenzhen-based company launched the augmented reality (AR) game this Thursday (April 11). It lets users catch hundreds of virtual monsters while cruising around streets, and trade digital blockchain-based kittens through a separate function.

This means Let’s Hunt Monsters essentially combines both Pokémon Go and CryptoKitties into just one game. China has notably not seen much of both of these games, despite their incredible success in the west.

The country hasn’t seen a lot of Pokémon Go as the mobile title, which has an estimated $2.5 billion in total revenue, depends on Google Maps for its location-based gameplay. Google Maps is banned in the country. CryptoKitties, on the other hand, depends on Ethereum’s ether, the currency used to buy and sell digital cats.

Back in 2017, China banned cryptocurrency exchanges, and although courts have later on revealed cryptocurrencies should be protected by law as property. The ban made cryptos hard to access in the country, making it hard to use dApps like CryptoKitties.

While various gaming companies have tried to create equivalents of both games in China, none has taken off like Tencent’s mash-up, according to the SCMP. This, as the game quickly became the most downloaded free game on its iOS app store, beating titles like PUBG Mobile and Honour of Kings.

In the game, players can also flick a ball at monsters on their screens to capture them, and are able to summon digital kittens to trade them through Tencent’s blockchain platform. They’re traded for in-game credits, however, not for real money.

The Chinese gaming giant has obtained a license to monetize Let’s Hunt Monsters through in-game purchases.  Another revenue stream for it is based on marketing campaigns from retail stores offering discounts to players who explore their areas.