Go anywhere in the world right now and you can find huddled masses scouring public parks, beaches, lakes and valleys for Pokémon. The minds behind the app might not have anticipated the worldwide breakout the game has had, but if they did, they certainly didn’t seek to restrict its reach.
Despite a limited release in English-speaking markets, the app has been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times in other markets. The proof can be found on Facebook, where communities sometimes containing more than 10,000 members have popped up in Chile, India, Argentina, Germany, Thailand, Vietnam and Israel.
The following countries officially got the app on July 16: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, and Switzerland. Canada had it by the 17th.
But the area languishing is Latin America. Rumors have had LATAM formally getting access to the app today, though it’s not clear that was ever officially announced. But this region of the world is already electrified with Facebook communities discussing strategy, laughing at absurd galleries of collected monsters and complaining about servers (a near-universal occurrence right now). Some of the biggest include Pokémon Go Chile Oficial (though how it could be official I don’t know) already at 34,219 as of this writing; Pokémon Go Brasil, 32,610; Uruguay, 3,916; Mexico, 10,159; Peru, 6,163; and Colombia 7,409.
In Pokémon Go Argentina, the community is huge; 13,328 as of this writing. Community member Enrique Parkun answered an inquiry from Geektime, asking if he had seen any substantial problems playing before the official rollout later today. “Yes and no. The APK works fine. Obviously the servers aren’t enabled yet, but the app is working fine.”
He pointed to some quarks, but hadn’t gathered there was anything wrong on account of his location, besides perhaps server overload and the DDOS attacks the app had experienced over the last couple weeks. Elliot Pi in Pokémon Go – Ecuador (Oficial), with about 3,200 members, told Geektime he hasn’t noticed anything different with the game when he’s played it. “In some places in Ecuador and all over Latin America, if you can play . . . the servers go down all the time, but that’s all over the world.” Still another user, Marlon Xander, reported “The servers haven’t been fully enabled yet.”
For Mexicans, who likely noticed my rusty Spanish when asking questions of users given that they responded in English, the issues are similar. But they also describe massive turnouts at pokéstops in different cities, says Alex Gonzalez of Mexico City. “The servers goes offline frequently, the bug of the pokeball after catching a pokemon and the bug that doesn’t let you defeat a Gym because the pokemon’s HP wont go below 1” are frequent. But the center of Mexico City, particularly Chapultepec, is jam-packed with users.
If you really want to find the good ones in Mexico, you have to follow the landmarks, says Luis Serrano.
“People usually go downtown. There’s A LOT of Pokestops in there, since there’s a large number of monuments and cultural spots.”