Slowly but surely, the creatures are coming. They advance, nation by nation, relentless, refusing to stop until the entire planet is their domain. Hundreds of millions have felt their impact. Politicians and titans of industry are not immune. And even mainstream news outlets are scrambling to find "22 Tips For Catching Pokémon - #12 Will Make You Scream!" Today developer Niantic continues its bid for global mobile gaming domination by expanding Pokémon GO to 15 new markets in Asia, including hundreds of millions of new potential players on iOS and Android.
Here's the full list, per the official Pokémon GO Google+ account:
- Papua New Guinea
- Solomon Islands
- Federated States of Micronesia
Indonesia is particularly notable here: with a population of over a quarter billion, it's the largest country to be added to Pokémon GO's availability list since the initial rollout in the United States (among others). With Brazil covered by an expansion into South America earlier this week, only China and India are missing from the top five populous nations on the planet. It might take a while for Niantic to set up shop in India considering the enormous amount of smartphone users.
And Pokémon GO may never come to China, at least on Android, thanks to Google's tumultuous relationship with the PRC. Developers on the mainland can upload apps to the Play Store, but there's no official way for Chinese users to download them. Rumors of Google's return to the Chinese market buzzed about earlier this year, but have since fizzled out. iOS Pokémon fans in China may have better luck.
In the meantime, welcome to the party, new players. Catch everything you can, never miss an opportunity to hit a Pokestop, don't pay for Pokeballs, don't worry about gyms (at least until they provide a better benefit), remember to stack lures, incense, lucky eggs, and cheap evolutions to level up quickly, and for the love of God, don't try to play a video game while you're driving.
- Pokémon GO Google+