With overwhelmingly positive buzz over the past few days, you’d assume Pokemon Go was a worldwide phenomenon. In reality, it still has a few more territories to launch in.
The free AR app hit the US, Australia and New Zealand last week, but its official European, Japanese and wider Asian rollouts are still waiting in the wings. The Wall Street Journal, however, is citing “people familiar with plans for the game” in saying that it should hit those territories “within a few days.” No specific date was given but it sounds like fans can expect it to hit their region at some point this week.
Developer Niantic Labs held off on an international rollout of Pokemon Go after the game experienced server issues last week. It sounds like these problems are quickly getting patched up, though, which bodes well for its future. Of course, some savvy smartphone users have already been able to get their hands on the app in regions that it’s not yet available. They’ll have something of a head start, but no doubt people waiting on the official release will catch up quick.
Even with the staggered release, Pokemon Go already had a hugely positive impression on Nintendo, one of the owners behind distributor The Pokemon Company. The WSJ is also reporting that the game helped boost the company’s shares by 25 percent today. As a result, Nintendo’s total market cap now nearly reaches $28 billion. That’s encouraging news for a company that’s recently faced tough times with its struggling Wii U platform, and hopefully a sign of things to come when it rolls out its own set of smartphone apps.
The real question is just how long this craze will last. Pokemon Go has players wandering out into the wild to catch virtually generated beasts at real life locations, and has already created some incredible stories. Will players continue to build their trainers in the weeks to come?