The augmented reality game Pokémon Go has become a huge phenomenon just after a couple of weeks from its release. Now earning over $1 billion dollar a day plus an increasing number of downloads (which is already on its 8 million mark), it is the most popular game ever released this 2016. And those digits doesn’t even include Europe and Asia just yet, its only in US! So imagine a worldwide invasion? They might reach billions by the minute!
Europe and Asia’s release is still on hold due to technical problems regarding the server and other issues to be resolved before we get the “GO” signal. Millions of people are already hyped and ready even before its scheduled release. But there is one certain part of Asia who is not really excited or looking forward about it, Saudi Arabia.
The hit game Pokémon Go won’t be rolling out in Saudi Arabia anytime soon after religious authorities there renewed a 15-year-old fatwa against the game. This is not the first time they banned the Pokemon games. In 2001, the kingdom’s Council of Senior Scholars banned the card game for involving gambling, using polytheistic symbols, and promoting the theory of evolution.
According to the English language Saudi newspaper Arab News, the council has renewed the fatwa on the basis that “the current version of the game is the same as the old one.”
The report came out just after three Saudi men was being arrested at King Abdullah airport in Jeddah after playing Pokémon Go on their smartphones there. They were taken into interrogation for entering a restricted area of the airport. And since the game uses the cameras on our smartphones , they were definitely not happy about it.
Saudi Arabia is not the only country who made actions of banning the game. Many countries is already considering to limit or ban the game due to the accidents and negative outcomes people have involved in while playing the game, which includes Indonesia. Indonesian police said they had arrested a French player for wandering onto a military complex in Cirebon. But he was released hours later after the police realized he had “unintentionally entered the complex as he was hunting Pokémon while jogging.”
You may have wondered how Pokemon Go reached Saudi Arabia when its not even released in Asian countries yet but many parts of the world have found unofficial means to get onto their smartphones to avoid being FOMO( Fear of Missing Out).
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