Johannesburg - Smartphone gaming hit Pokémon Go has officially been launched in South Africa after months of locals playing the game through unofficial downloads.
The location-based mobile game - which has been on the decline globally after a spike in usage since its July 2016 launch in countries abroad - has finally launched in 31 African countries.
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A statement on the Pokémon Go website this week read: “Trainers in Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Chad, Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe, Egypt, Morocco, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mauritania, Niger, Sierra Leone, Togo, fill your backpack and get ready for a hike! Pokémon GO is available to download from Google Play and iTunes!”
Until now, players have been downloading the game through an app-hosting website.
The game has now enabled players to play the game on the local South African Map.
Some local users previously went as far as using GPS manipulating tools to roam the game further - which resulted in them being banned.
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For users who had already been playing the game locally, the app - newly launched to the Google Play store and iTunes in South Africa - will appear as an update.
After updating the app, players do not seem to lose any progress.
@KyleVenktess on Twitter.