Despite problems with non-functioning facilities, crime, garbage, and Zika; one problem immediately became apparent to athletes who’ve flown into Rio for the 2016 Summer Olympics: No Pokmon Go.
Despite a summer’s worth of schadenfreude-laced news about problems with the Rio Olympics, the most relevant one to readers is the fact that Niantic’s wildly popular AR Pokmon game hasn’t been released in Brazil.
That news in and of itself isn’t too surprising since Pokémon Go fans are acutely aware of which countries do have the game, and which countries don’t. But in a report from The Guardian, Twitter began lighting up with complaints and reactions from athletes and Rio tourists from Pokémon Go endowed nations arriving in Brazil, only to find that Niantic has abandoned them.
After stories about how dorms in the athletes’ village have caught on fire, or have non-functioning plumbing; the lack of Pokémon Go turned out to be the icing on the misery cake.
Athletes such as US Olympic Diving Team Abby Johnston, or French Canoe athlete Matthieu Pech, have given international attention to Brazil’s Pokémon crisis. Even Rio mayor Eduardo Paes used his Facebook page to write a public letter in Portuguese to Niantic to bring Pokémon Go to Brazil.
Several citizens in Brazil have also taken this Olympic generated exposure to request Niantic roll out the app in their home country so as to prevent an international crisis. So far however, there is no word yet from Niantic on whether or not the company is preparing the app for a Brazil launch in time for the Rio Olympics next Friday.