The free application crafted by the brilliant minds at Niantic and the Pokémon Company is available for download through both the Google Play Store for Android smartphones and Apple’s App Store for iOS. The prerequisites for the game include a stable mobile data connection and a smartphone having GPS capabilities. The augmented reality (AR) game then transforms the real-world environment into gaming elements.
The news for the UK launch comes through a tweet and happens a week after the game was made available in Australia, New Zealand, and the US. The game faced a delay in the international rollout due to server issues which were caused primarily due to overcrowding owing to the game’s high popularity amongst fans. In Europe, Germany was the first company to receive the rollout on Wednesday. The restriction on regions was placed by Niantic because the company struggled to accommodate the high volume of player influx on its servers. Several instances occurred where the servers became overloaded and locked many users out.
With the regional restrictions placed, many users circumvented it by sideloading the application on Android smartphones. Whereas, users downloaded the application through a US iTunes account in case of iPhones. Prior to the launch in the UK, there were more than 350,000 active users of the application on the network EE alone.
Players who will be just joining in the craze would need to do a lot of catching up in order to make their space. Since most of the ‘Gyms’ would be occupied by stronger Pokémon belonging to players who started playing the game a week ago.
The game is fiction based and puts the player in the shoes of a Pokémon trainer who intends to catch and collect as many Pokémon (fictional creatures) as possible. The player then trains these creatures and battles them against fellow trainers in battle arenas which are mostly based around significant landmarks.
The players are granted with one Pokemon when they start their journey, however in order to catch more Pokémon, they need to travel on streets, walk in parks and basically move around with their phone and application active. Once a Pokémon is spotted, players should capture the creatures with the aid of a Pokeball. Once trapped, they can shift it to a digital pen.
Needless to say, the game has caused quite a stir; let’s see how UK responds to the launch.