Pokemon Go available in Southeast Asia, but not in Vietnam
According to some sources, Pokemon Go will be officially released in eight Asian countries this week, but not in Vietnam.
After over two weeks of release in the US, Australia, New Zealand, and more than 20 European countries, Niantic Labs, the distributor of Pokemon Go, appears to be cautious in Asia, with no country in this region officially hosting one of the world's most popular games.
This is a puzzling move of Niantic Labs, as Asia has long been recognized as the world's largest market for games, especially games on mobile phones.
But according to the latest information, eight Asian markets will be on the list of Pokemon Go release, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Japan, this week, along with some countries in the Americas such as Brazil, Argentina, Chile and others.
Earlier this week, the head of Pokemon Go developing team - John Hanke - said Pokemon Go is expected to be released in 200 countries worldwide. However, young people in some countries such as South Korea, North Korea, and China may be unable to enjoy the game due to the restriction of GPS location access.
Pokemon Go is a free-to-play location-based augmented reality mobile game developed by Niantic for iOS and Android devices. It was released in most regions of the world in July 2016. Making use of GPS and the camera of compatible devices, the game allows players to capture, battle, and train virtual creatures, called Pokémon, who appear on device screens as though in the real world.
The game is free to play, although it supports in-app purchases of additional gameplay items. An optional companion Bluetooth wearable device, the Pokemon Go Plus, is planned for future release and will alert users when Pokemon are nearby.
Pokemon Go was released to mixed reviews. Reviewers praised the overall experience of the game and the incentive to adventure the real world, while noting technical issues that were apparent at launch.
The game quickly became one of the most used smart device apps, surpassing the previous record held by Candy Crush Saga in the US, and was a boon to the stock value of The Pokemon Company and Nintendo.
The game was credited with popularizing augmented reality, and was praised by some medical professionals for potentially improving the mental and physical health of players, but also attracted some controversy due to reports of causing accidents and being a public nuisance at some locations.