Pokémon hunters around the world are getting desperate waiting for the app to launch in their countries – so much so that it even cost one frustrated Pokémon enthusiast his job.
So far, the augmented reality app – which inserts fictional characters in real-life locations – is only available in Australia, New Zealand and the U.S.
While there are many rumors as to when the app will launch globally, The Pokémon Company International told CNN Tuesday that they “have no comment to share on international rollout or future release at this time.”
Speculatively, the delay has to do with server issues experienced in the countries where the app is available.
While they wait, some inventive would-be gamers are making do.
Pokémon DIY and fakes
In Canada, frustrated hunters are sharing pictures of substitute activities – throwing fake Pokéballs on pets and getting creative with paint skills.
Deprived would-be users are also trying to satisfy themselves with clone apps. A fake Pokémon app called “Go catch ‘em all!” is currently topping the Free Apps chart in Apple’s Canadian iTunes store.
In China, another clone app called “City Spirit GO” is number one, followed by “Go catch ‘em all!” in third place.
In Japan – home country of both Nintendo and Pokémon – fans are particularly angered having to wait for Pokémon to appear in their natural habitat.
Niantic Asia’s representative marketing manager, Kengo Suga, used Twitter to apologize to fellow Japanese for the wait.
“This is Niantic’s passion put into Pokemon GO. Apologies to the people in Japan to make you wait,” he said.
His tweet, however, was followed by a chain of angry responses accusing him for using “marketing tactics by starvation” and expressing devastation over Pokémon being released in other parts of the world before Japan.
Rumor had it Pokémon GO would be released in Japan on July 11, the date marking former Nintendo president Satoru Iwata’s death, but so far no app has released.
In Singapore, an Australian marketing consultant was fired after posting on Facebook a string of expletives labeling Singapore a “s**t country” because there were no Pokémon. The post has since been deleted.
His former employer, marketing company 99.co recognized that fellow Singaporeans found the tweet insulting, and in a statement confirmed that the Pokémon trainer had been fired.
While Pokémon is causing problems for some, for others it’s creating business opportunities.
In the U.S., innovative drivers are taking advantage of the hype by offering “Pokémon GO transportation.”
“I will drive you around Portland Metro area while you play Pokémon Go,” one such entrepreneur advertises on Craigslist. His service includes a two-hour drive to all local Pokéstops and gyms.