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Pokémon Go expands to 15 more countries in Asia and Oceania
My fellow Pokémon trainers in parts of Asia and Oceania, Niantic’s immensely popular game is now live in 15 more regions, and your country could be one of them!
If you are currently in Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, or Palau, Pokémon Go is now officially available in your country.
With over 100 million downloads, this augmented reality game has been expanding across the globe (albeit not fast enough for most fans): just in time for the Olympics, it made its debut in South America in Brazil and will continue to roll out in Central and South America.
Niantic had already revealed its plans to roll out Pokémon Go in Asia, but as you might have noticed, three major Asian countries are still devoid of some Pokémon fun: China, India, and South Korea. But why?
India’s smartphone sales are skyrocketing, so it’s a little puzzling that Niantic hasn’t yet launched its iconic game there, but the country’s sheer population of 1.2 billion may pose a problem for its servers.
As for China and South Korea, it should be needless to say that these two countries are a huge gaming market. According to App Annie’s recent data, Chinese smartphone users now spend more money on games on iOS than their American counterparts.
However, as Niantic previously pointed out, regulations and security issues regarding Google Maps – on which the mega-hit mobile game heavily depends – are making the launch slightly more complicated for these two countries.
Google’s map information system in Korea is limited due to security concerns over North Korea. In China, however, it is technically possible, but difficult to introduce due to the many hurdles, or should I say regulations we’d have to clear to get it to users.
That doesn’t really seem to matter, however, as Chinese Pokémon enthusiasts are going to great lengths to join in on the fun: from downloading knock-off apps to faking their GPS location to America, there are various – and often creative – workarounds.
As for South Korea, Pokémon Go is available in very limited areas, most likely from a glitch. Bus and train tickets to these cities have been completely sold out, and these cities have seen their tourism revenue double.
Is your country among the 15 newly added countries for Pokémon Go? If you’re in China, India, or South Korea, will you be waiting for the official launch of Pokémon Go?