The smartphone game Pokémon GO has been officially launched in the UK.
Pokémon GO has emerged as a global craze with players hooked to their handsets since it launched in the US, Australia and New Zealand.
In the augmented reality game, players travel around the real world to capture and train creatures known as Pokémon – the most famous of which is Pikachu.
There had been a delay in the UK because of the unexpectedly high volume of downloads in the US, Australia and New Zealand which caused it to crash.
Despite the game not being available in Britain until now, thousands of players in the UK have already downloaded the app by changing their region settings or using unofficial app stores, a move which led to warnings of malware from security experts.
Now the game has officially arrived in the UK and can be downloaded from the iOS App Store and Google Play for Android.
The official statement said: “UK Trainers, the wait is over. Pokémon GO is now officially available to be installed from Google Play or iTunes.”
— ✨ Jodie ✨ (@Jodetopia) July 14, 2016
Statistics released in the US on Wednesday claimed Pokemon Go had already surpassed the number of daily users of Candy Crush Saga, the hugely popular puzzle game from UK developer King.
Mobile provider EE has revealed that more than 350,000 people on its network in the UK have already been using the app, before the official release.
The app, which is free to download, has already raised some concerns over claims it could access a user’s entire Google account, including email and passwords.
Niantic quickly responded, claiming the move was unintentional, reassuring users that it was not collecting any exceptional data.