Well, officially, anyway.
Pokemon GO launched worldwide earlier this year, and it was a veritable sensation everywhere, including in countries where it wasn’t even officially available. I can personally testify to it being a major thing in India, with even city- and countrywide Pokemon GO ‘walks’ being held, as players all came together to celebrate the nostalgia of their favorite franchise growing up.
There was one small catch, though- Pokemon GO hadn’t officially launched in India. Most people playing in India were playing it on Android (by far the dominant mobile OS in the country), which makes it easy to sideload apps on to your phone even if they are not on the App Store, while iPhone users were generally resorting to making American accounts to get access to the game. Pokemon GO is free to play, and given enough dedication, can be played with no money spent whatsoever- so these methods weren’t preventing anyone from enjoying the game too much.
But all of this doesn’t change the fact that the game wasn’t available in India officially- and now, months after the excitement around the game had begun to subside and die down in the country, it finally is. As of today, Pokemon GO is finally officially available in India, as well as Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh.
So, what took them so long to bring the game to what is potentially one of the biggest market for mobile apps in the world? From the developers’ own mouths, “the Niantic team had to resolve a few administrative challenges before launching in order to ensure we could provide the best experience possible,” Niantic said in a brief blog post.
I wonder what those issues were, but hey- I imagine the game is going to end up doing well in India even though it is launching a bit late. In fact, it might even spark a bit of resurgence in enthusiasm for it. Pokemon GO is available now on iOS and Android devices.