The long-awaited Pokemon Go augmented reality app finally appears in the Google Play Store, but is still region-locked for most North American gamers.

After a long delay and months of silence from its developers, it seems like Pokemon Go’s release may finally be right around the corner. During E3, it was revealed that the game should be arriving before the end of July, but both Niantic and The Pokemon Company have been silent since that live stream. After five excruciating days of waiting and wondering, the Pokemon Go app has appeared on the Android Play store (without a download button) and gamers in some regions are claiming to be online and playing.

The game’s U.S. field test officially wrapped up just a week ago on the last day of June and many fans have been theorizing about when the game’s launch will arrive. The die-hard fans have been refreshing the app store and the developer blogs non-stop during the first five days of July and that work seems to have finally paid off. We have confirmed that the app has appeared on the Android app store, but currently is listed as ‘Not available in your country’ for our writers in the U.S.

Here’s a screenshot of what we were greeted with in the Play Store


Users from around the world are reporting that they have successfully logged in and started playing. An early theory is that the beta testers are the ones to have early access for some reason, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Multiple users on the Pokemon Go subreddit who weren’t a part of beta are also providing screenshots that contain a ‘User since 7/5/16’ message.


The region lock suggests that maybe the game has launched in Japan and Australia first (due to a time zone difference), but a few U.S. users are claiming to be online and have provided screenshots, as well. It’s unclear at this point why some people are locked out. There is an APK that some players are using to trick the app store out of the region lock, but we don’t recommend taking that path. It appears to be working, but Nintendo doesn’t like cheaters and this seems like the kind of behavior that the company wouldn’t approve of.

Information is still still developing but check back for an official North American release and announcement soon. If it doesn’t arrive before midnight, it seems highly likely that the game will be live sometime in the early hours on July 6.

Will you be downloading Pokemon Go on day one? Let us know in the comments.

Pokemon Go is expected to arrive sometime before the end of July for mobile devices.

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