MANILA, Philippines – Pokémon fans, rejoice. The wait is over for what could very well be this year's biggest mobile game, Pokémon GO, as the app is now available for download on both Android and iOS. Philippine players may now go to the app stores of their respective platforms, search for the app, and install the game.
Below is a screenshot from the Google Play Store after the game is installed.
Is there a better way to start the weekend?
The Philippines is one of the 15 new countries where the popular game has been made available.
Other countries which will now be able to play the augmented reality title starting Saturday, August 6, are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and Palau.
The launch was announced on the official international Pokémon GO Facebook page at around 9 am, Manila time, Saturday.
The release sent Filipino trainers on a social media frenzy, putting Pokémon GO on the top of trending lists in the Philippines again.
Regional restrictions were not about to deter Pokémon-hungry fans, however. As soon as the game was launched, different means to bypass the region locks were passed around. The most popular method was by downloading an APK code available online.
But it didn’t take long for Niantic, the game's developer and publisher, to crack down on unauthorized access, sending Filipino trainers back to the waiting game. Now, it's official: it's here.
If you're a Smart subscriber, you may now avail of the mobile service provider's offer of 7 days of free data access to Pokémon GO.
Since being released in North America and Australia on July 6, Pokémon GO has been downloaded over 100 million times and currently earns $10 million in daily revenue according to an Engadget report.
Don Kevin Hapal is Rappler’s Head of Data and Innovation. He started at Rappler as a digital communications specialist, then went on to lead Rappler’s Balikbayan section for overseas Filipinos. He was introduced to data journalism while writing and researching about social media, disinformation, and propaganda.