India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and a number of other South Asian countries can now join the walking, Pokéball-slinging phenomenon that is Pokémon Go, after Niantic officially launched the mobile app in a number of countries in the region. Available on both iOS and Android, the app should come complete with all Pokémon, all medals, and all the added features released in the past few months of play elsewhere in the world.
Niantic apologized to gamers in India and other countries in the region, stating that the reason for the delay in the game’s release for these countries was due mostly to “administrative challenges,” that it had to sort out in order to provide the best experience for players.
That experience will be even more impressive than what was enjoyed by players who have had access to the game earlier in the year. Indian, Nepalese, and Bangladeshi players should all have some semblance of a tracking system, buddy Pokémon, and the possibility of catching a Ditto and the recently announced second-generation “baby” Pokémon and Christmas Pikachu.
Although Pokémon fans in Bhutan and Sri Lanka may be a little late to the party, that doesn’t mean they’ll have to contend with those who have full rosters of 2.5K dragonites and arcanines. There should be a swathe of fresh gyms to take over, as well as plenty of new Pokéstops to explore. Indeed Niantic has been securing an ever-expanding roster of partnerships with retailers and local institutions to tie in with the game and has just announced a partnership with Indian brand, Reliance Jio. To that end, 3,000 Jio stores and locations around India will act as Pokéstops and gyms right from the initial launch.
This is a good time of year to join in the fun, too, as no doubt there will be a number of enjoyable events taking place over the holiday period. Any new Pokémasters in the South Asian region have until December 29 to catch that Christmas Pikachu, so if you’ll be wandering the neighborhoods there, keep your eyes peeled!