Pokemon trainers in Asia will likely have to wait a little longer to be the very best.
While millions of Americans have spent the past week immersed in Pokemon Go, the free augmented reality app that lets users catch the monsters in the real world, some countries just got the game. And others — like Japan, where Nintendo has its headquarters — are still wondering why it hasn't launched there.
As of Friday morning, Pokemon Go was out in Australia, the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, New Zealand, Spain and Portugal, according to Tech Crunch. John Hanke, an executive with developer Niantic, told Reuters Friday he planned to roll out the game in about 200 countries and regions. "Why limit it?" he said.
But Pokefans living in Asia are getting impatient. In Japan, Niantic spokesman Kento Suga posted on Twitter that everyone needed to "wait a bit more" and got responses ranging from "Tell me the damn release date" to "The words ‘a little bit’ are like causing my brain to melt with stress," Kotaku reported.
Fans took notice Wednesday when the Japanese version of Amazon showed that a Pokemon Go accessory would be released July 29. However, when reporters asked about it, the date was taken down, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The prevailing theory behind the delay is that the app's servers — which almost constantly crash and lock out users in other countries — aren't yet ready to handle the masses in Japan, according to Forbes. For some gamers, that's not a good enough reason. "Other than a brief period on Monday that was apparently for testing, there are no Togepi to catch in Tokyo, nor any Houndoom to be found in Hokkaido," TheVerge wrote Thursday.
There's a similar lack of news coming out of China, where internet rules are strict and conspiracy theorists have suggested Pokemon Go is a way for the U.S. to covertly locate military bases, according to Reuters. Ditto the Philippines, where the game worked briefly before but now only shows blank maps. And don't forget Canada, where there have been rumors that users playing hacked versions of the game have been banned from the servers.
Even Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes wants Pokemon Go to release in Brazil before the Olympic Games start Aug. 5. He wrote on Facebook Thursday that "Everybody's coming. You should come on down, too," the Washington Post reported.