Is your country among 20 countries where Pokémon go is available? The latest gaming mania that has been wreaking havoc (in more ways than one) on the streets of many cities around the globe hasn’t been released everywhere at once. This has naturally caused some consternation among the wannabe trainers whose countries have been left out.
The game developer Niantic has been a victim of their own success. Apparently, their servers haven’t been able to handle the traffic from all the players that wanted to engage in Pokémon hunting. The original released on July 6th saw Pokémon Go in three countries, USA, Australia, and New Zealand. The success of the game was overwhelming and servers struggled with the traffic load, so much so that Niantic CEO John Hanke issued a statement that the planned release in Europe will be postponed until the company addresses the issues. Finally, European trainers were able to play the game starting from July 13th, with most of the countries being covered in the next 10 days. As the servers’ capacity was increased, so was the list of countries where Pokémon go is available, reaching Asia and South America by the end of July. While never praised for its interesting story, the game has almost immediately upon release became the most popular mobile game of all time. And, if you are more into games with great stories don’t miss our list of 7 Android games with the best story lines.
The lack of availability led to some interesting developments. In South Korea, a country obsessed with gaming and the world’s 4th largest gaming market, Pokémon Go isn’t available. The holdup is caused by the national security concerns, due to game’s access to digital mapping, something considered sensitive data by the government, and fear of North Korea somehow gaining valuable intelligence on its southern neighbor. Considering all those maps are already in the public domain for years, it is hard to explain this by anything else but bureaucratic nonsense. Once every Nintendo and Niantic manage to obtain every stamp and signature needed to prove they aren’t secretly aiding Kim Jong-un in his plot to overtake Korean peninsula, Korean players will be able to enjoy the game. Until then, they have to make do. Fortunately, there are areas that have been accessible, due to various glitches, like the one around Sokcho, a city in the northeastern part of the country. Local entrepreneurs quickly seized the opportunity and established bus tours with free WiFi from Seoul, shuttling gamers to Pokémon-rich grounds. Another glitch caused a gym to appear right next to Korean Demilitarized Zone but was shut down by Niantic, probably in fear that North Korea will misinterpret a host of Pokémon players roaming around the border as a prelude to the invasion.
Chinese Pokémon trainers have also been denied a chance to catch ‘em all. The Great Chinese Firewall is blocking them from accessing game servers, leading to a mass purchase of Australian App Store IDs and GPS spoofing software, which enabled them to play.
Some countries go to even greater lengths to prevent its citizens from playing Pokémon Go. In Saudi Arabia, religious authorities have issued a fatwa against the game, due to the symbols that appear in the game, like six-pointed star and cross. Breaking a fatwa can have some serious consequences, hence the omission of Saudi Arabia from our list of countries where Pokémon go is available.
Although a few countries have used extreme measures like Saudi Arabia, almost all have issued a police warning about Pokémon Go, urging the players to be careful while playing the game and be mindful of their surroundings. Considering that the players have already caused several fatal accidents, it seems that warnings haven’t done much good.
We’ve listed 20 countries where Pokémon go is available according to the average daily usage of the app. Below each country you’ll find how many minutes the average Pokémon Go user has spent playing the game each day.