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Pokemon GO Comes to Asia but Not Vietnam

Over two weeks after the game’s initial release in Europe and North America, Pokemon GO has arrived in Asia.

The virtual reality smartphone game officially launched in eight Asian nations last week, including Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Japan, reports VietnamNet.

John Hanke, Pokemon GO’s head of game development, expects to release the game in 200 countries worldwide, however there is no word yet on whether it will come to Vietnam.

As early as July 15, South Korea got a taste of the Pokemon GO phenomenon when gamers discovered the GPS-based mobile game could be played in Sokcho, a small town near the North Korean border, reports the Wall Street Journal. This, however, was a fluke, and Pokemon GO didn’t make its official debut in Asia until last week.

Since then, Japanese players have expressed their enthusiasm, pointing out that they did, in fact, invent the game in the first place. In Indonesia, authorities seem to be on the fence about the whole situation: on the one hand, cabinet secretary Pramono Agung told the media he had caught Pokemon in Jakarta’s presidential palace; on the other hand, Indonesian police are banned from playing the game while on duty and officials are working to enact the same ban for members of the military.

A French Pokemon GO player was also arrested for trespassing on Indonesian military base but police later released the man when they realized what he was doing.

“He unintentionally entered the complex as he was hunting Pokemon while jogging,” police spokesman Colonel Yusri Yunus told the Guardian.

Whatever happens, we’re keen to see whether Asian gamers experience the same litany of troubles – players wandering onto highways, Pokestops located near the homes of sex offenders and reporters catching Pokemon during press conferences – that have been so prevalent in North America.


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