The event was organized by a group of passionate fans, Legacy Gamers, who wanted to celebrate the official launch of the game in Canada, nearly two weeks after it was released in the United States, Australia and New Zealand. While thousands of players turned up to play, the vast majority of them said they had no plans to wait for Niantic Labs, the game’s developer, to release the title in Canada and started playing when their neighbors to the south did.
Ali Haider, a Team Mystic Pokémon Go player, told Polygon he had been playing the game since day one and created a U.S. account on the App Store in order to download the game on his iPhone. Once he figured out how to do it, he did the same thing for his friends so they could wander around the city and catch Pokémon. While the game may not have officially been released in the country, Canada’s largest metropolitan city was definitely booming with various Pokémon.
When asked why he didn’t want to wait for the game’s official release, he asked why he should have to when it doesn’t make any sense for Canadians to face a delay.
“This happens all the time,” Haider said. “The States gets something and then we have to wait weeks or even months to play it. This was really easy to do and now we’re caught up with everyone.”
For many players at the launch, that sentiment rang true. Haider’s friend, William Hountalas, said he thought in an era when it’s so easy to access an account from a different region and sign up at the same time as everyone else, it was a little ridiculous to ask people to wait.
“I know there was rumors that accounts were going to be banned, but that didn’t happen,” Hountalas said. “We watched Germany get it and we didn’t have it. Japan still doesn’t have it, but you know they’re playing.”
Haider said that the disconnect from watching other people play felt isolating and he felt bad for players who waited nearly two weeks to get their hands on the official game.
“It was all people were talking about on Twitter and people kept posting photos on Instagram or Snapping,” he said. “Maybe if it was harder to do I would have waited, but it literally took me 10 minutes.”
Pokémon Go is now available in many European countries, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and, of course, the United States. The game will reportedly be available to officially play in Japan as of Friday, with other Asian countries expected to get the game sometime next week.