Pokemon GO developer, Niantic Labs, have released the game into a further fifteen countries across Asia. The game is an augmented reality application that blends a mix of real world physical features with virtual reality monsters. Players must travel around their physical world seeking Pokemon GO monsters. When players are close to a monster, the application switches to the camera view. From this point, players must throw a Pokemon ball at the monster in order to capture it. Captured monsters may be developed to become stronger, plus they may be trained in a local Pokemon gym. The game also contains Pokestops, real world physical locations where players can top up on gaming supplies.
Pokemon GO was released in early July and has already proven to be remarkably popular in officially supported regions, which include the United States of America, Europe and Japan. In these short weeks, the game has more regular users than Twitter and Snapchat. Almost 11% of American smartphone owners have Pokemon GO installed on their device, compared with approximately 4% for Netflix. The average amount of time for people to use the application is around 45 minutes a day and it has become the fourth most popular application on a device behind Facebook, Google Search and the Contacts application. Unfortunately, the game's popularity has also proven attractive for the darker sides of society. We've seen criminals using Pokemon GO to target unsuspecting players. We have also seen inattentive players put themselves into considerable harm, such as walking over a cliff or wandering into areas known to contain landmines.
The new countries that now have access to Pokemon GO are Brunei, Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Palau, Vietnam, Taiwan, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Federated States of Micronesia and Thailand. Nintendo and developer Niantic have slowly rolled the application out across the world and it's possible that because the game has proven very popular, Niantic have had to delay the roll out to avoid overloading its servers. It's noteworthy that three of the biggest and most populous countries of the region, these being China, India and South Korea, have yet to officially receive the application. It would appear that there is still plenty of mileage yet for the Pokemon GO phenomena.