Developer Niantic has confirmed that its massively popular mobile game Pokémon Go is still coming to Apple Watch, following recent rumours that the company halted development on the port to the device. In September, Niantic announced at Apple's iPhone launch event that the AR-powered game will be getting a companion app for the Apple Watch that will be shipped before the "end of the year."
However, the developer has not revealed much about the app since then. Amid growing concerns from Apple Watch owners, an email making the rounds on Reddit, said to be sent by a Niantic service agent, claimed that the "port for the Apple Watch has been shelved."
Moreover, 9to5Mac also reported that development on the Apple Watch app has been stopped, citing an unidentified source. The Pokémon Go version for Apple Watch that was demonstrated at the September event was reportedly an "unfinished port."
However, a Niantic spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch that the email being circulated is fake.
"The image in that Reddit post is not real," Niantic said. "Development on Pokémon Go continues, as it has before the Apple announcement. We'll have more news on the product soon."
The company did not provide any additional details on the app or its release date.
The official Pokémon Go Twitter feed posted that the app for the Apple Watch is "coming soon."
The Apple Watch app will show how far a player will need to walk to hatch an egg, the experience points required to hit the next level and other additional information about a player's fitness, including calories burned. It will also show players when a digital monster appears and when they reach a PokéStop. However, users will still have to use their iPhone to capture the little digital critters.
Released in July to massive success, Pokémon Go quickly became a global phenomenon capturing the hearts of millions of adventurous players across the globe. However, in recent months, the initial frenzy surrounding the game has expectedly faded.
In an effort to revive interest and draw players back to the smartphone game, the company has made numerous announcements, including special limited-time events, partnerships with Sprint, Starbucks and Reliance Jio, the release of a special berry-filled Pokémon-themed Starbucks Frappuccino and regular updates such as the recent release of several new Gen 2 creatures.
Niantic has promised that Pokémon Gold and Silver's second generation will be released over the next few months. In the meantime, players can try and grab the limited-edition, Santa hat-wearing Pikachu until 29 December.