The international rollout of Pokemon Go has been ‘paused' while co-creator Niantic works on its server performance.
The game, which is a co-creation from Niantic, The Pokemon Company and Nintendo, has been an absolute smash hit on iOS and Android in the US, Australia and New Zealand. Gamers in other regions are still waiting for its official release, however.
Now Business Insider reports that Niantic CEO John Hank has confirmed that the arrival of the game in the UK and other territories has been paused until we're comfortable” with the performance of the servers, which have suffered periods of downtime since the game's launch.
This is in part down to the sheer success of the game, with Hanke adding: We thought the game would be popular, but it obviously struck a nerve.”
Plenty of UK gamers have already got their hands on the games via nefarious means, but an official release that does not require a technical workaround remains hotly anticipated.
The game has enjoyed an incredible launch. Nintendo shares have surged in the wake of the game's popularity, climbing from their 13,800 price on June 24th to 20,260 today. They haven't been that high since the end of October 2015 and haven't routinely tracked that highly since the end of 2010.
Stock in the company has not risen this sharply since the 1980s.
SimilarWeb reckons that within its first two days of availability in the US, Pokemon Go was installed in over five per cent of ALL Android devices in the territory. That took it above Tinder and actually put it on track to beating Twitter in terms of US active daily users. It is also claiming more usage time that WhatsApp, Instagram and Snapchat.
So Nintendo IP on mobile, then? Pokemon Go is a craze in any sense of the word:
Pokemon GO is just insane right now. This is in Central Park. It's basically been HQ for Pokemon GO. pic.twitter.com/3v2VfEHzNA— Jonathan Perez (@IGIhosT) July 11, 2016
Such crazes bring with them a blitz of coverage, not all of which is positive. Indeed, Pokemon Go has also been linked to the discovery of a human body, while its ‘Lure' feature was apparently used as a robbery aid in Missouri.
Remember, too, that Pokemon Go isn't strictly a Nintendo game. As stated above, three companies have a stake in it – Niantic, The Pokemon Company and Nintendo. The latter two invested in Niantic in 2015. The Pokemon Company, meanwhile, is jointly owned by Nintendo (which owns a third, and the Pokemon trademark), Game Freak and Creatures.
Pokemon Go uses Augmented Reality and GPS, and asks players to explore the real world to catch Pokemon, who are depicted as hanging about in a user's surroundings.