Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission announced it would not ban Pokemon Go, then went straight ahead and asked Niantic for a de facto ban in practice anyway.
NBTC Secretary General Takorn Tantasit held a press conference where he showed media the list of Pokemon-free zones he would demand from Niantic.
This is the first time since Pokemon Go was launched that the NBTC correctly attributed Niantic to the hit game. All previous mentions by the telecoms regulator mis-credited Nintendo of Japan.
The NBTC has ordered Niantic to, “remove Pokestops and not release Pokemon in the following areas: Dangerous areas - footpaths, railroads, railway, canal bank; religious places, temples, pagodas; schools and hospital; government and military buildings / properties; private places.”
The NBTC also asked Niantic to ban all Pokemon in Thailand at night for safety reasons.
It did not take long for social media to erupt in a storm of frustration and disbelief and point out the obvious that nobody in the NBTC had a clue how the game actually worked.
Since Pokestops have a 40-meter radius (more for Pokemon themselves), banning Pokemon Go from the NBTC Secretary-General’s list would effectively be a total ban on Pokemon in Thailand except in royal palaces and the middle of safe, dry public parks.
Nor did the NBTC’s letter mention Pokemon Gyms (where Pokemon battles are held).
Adding to the confusion TrueMove has reiterated that it and it alone holds the rights to a forthcoming localized version of Pokemon Go and has already lined up 60 to 80 advertisers.
True’s head of content Birathon Kasemsri told reporters that under Niantic’s contract with the Pokemon Company, Niantic would have to create a localized version of Pokemon Go exclusively for TrueMove.
He said that True expected huge profits from advertising on everything from Pokeballs and items to clothing for the Pokemon Trainer avatars.
Birathon said that the launch was still many months out as Niantic was still concentrating on the global launch of the game.
Niantic did not respond to emails asking for clarification on the matter.