Pokémon GO has been going strong since it’s release in the summer of 2016, a time where it felt like the whole world tried to catch ’em all.

Pokémon GO was a literal world-changing phenomenon when it first launched. Droves of trainers flocked to PokéStops and gyms with their friends for a shot at being the very best like no one ever was. But when exactly did Pokémon GO come out? Surprisingly, it's been a handful of years since its release in 2016.

When did Pokémon GO release?

(Image via Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images)
(Image via Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images)

It still feels like yesterday when Pokémon GO took mobile gaming by storm. Thousands upon thousands ventured into cities and parks with news of a powerful Snorlax or Dragonite appearing.

And while that hint of magic may have dwindled, the game still has a player base filled with dedicated folks who started their journey on day one.

Beta testing

There were multiple beta phases across the globe during the Pokémon GO pre-release stage. In March 2016, a Japan-exclusive beta test rolled out to help fine tune the game.

That was followed by an expansion in April to Australia and New Zealand. And finally, the test opened up in May to the United States until it came to a close on June 30.

Regional availability

Roughly a week after the beta period finished, Pokémon GO received a full launch. From there, Niantic staggered its availability from region to region. Here's every release date and the coinciding region it arrived in:

  • July 6, 2016: Australia, New Zealand, and United States
  • July 13, 2016: Germany
  • July 14, 2016: United Kingdom
  • July 15, 2016: Italy, Spain, and Portugal
  • July 16, 2016: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, and Switzerland
  • July 17, 2016: Canada
  • July 19, 2016: Puerto Rico
  • July 22, 2016: Japan
  • July 24, 2016: France
  • July 25, 2016: Hong Kong
  • August 3, 2016: Latin America and Caribbean Islands
  • August 6, 2016: Brunei, Cambodia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam
  • September 29, 2016: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macau, North Macedonia, and Serbia
  • September 30, 2016: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan
  • October 4, 2016: Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, Egypt, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Seychelles, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Eswatini, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, and Zambia
  • November 17, 2016: Bahrain, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates
  • December 13, 2016: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka
  • January 24, 2017: South Korea
  • September 11, 2018: Russia (Shut down after Russian invasion of Ukraine in March 2022)
  • June 3, 2021: Turkey

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