Pokemon Go has caught the world by storm--yet is still unavailable for most of the world's population. What the deal, Niantic?
Pokemon Go has become a worldwide phenomenon... and it's finally starting to have worldwide availability. This past week, the Pokemon-catching app finally extended its reach beyond Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S. to include Canada, the U.K., Germany, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Poland, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, and Switzerland.
It's a long list--but one that still skips some pretty major countries along with four entire continents. So far, Niantic hasn't confirmed any specific release dates, although they have assured fans that the game should roll out in the rest of Europe, Japan, and other parts of Asia by the end of the month. There is still no word on releases for Latin America or Africa. (Or Antarctica, if you were hoping to chill with the penguins while you catch your 'mons).
However, the official PokemonGo facebook page has released the names of countries that are not currently slated for a release at all: China, Korea (both North and South), Taiwan, Cuba, Myanmar, and Sudan. This comes as no surprise for some of these countries; China is notorious for its internet regulations (with bans on Gmail, Twitter, and Facebook), Sudan faces intense internal conflict, and North Korea is a black hole from whence nothing enters nor emerges. But South Korea? Taiwan? What's the deal?
No one knows--though South Korea's problems probably stem from their proximity to the North and Google's limited map information system across the peninsula due to security concerns. Still, it seems odd that such large and culturally powerful countries are currently, perhaps indefinitely, cut off from the biggest sensation of 2016.
Through it all, Niantic remains as reclusive and vague as ever, blaming server issues and technical difficulties on the slow rollout. Hopefully, we'll know more by the end of this month, and in the meantime, stay tuned to GameSkinny for any and all Pokemon Go news and updates!