Since launch, Pokemon GO has had some Pokemon you couldn’t get from just anywhere. Different regions featured one unique Pokemon the others couldn’t get. The Americas got Tauros. Europe got Mr. Mime. Australia and New Zealand have Kangaskhan. And East Asia got Farfetch’d.
Right now, to catch everything, you need to be literal globe-trotter. It’s a way to make sure not everyone can be the very best.
Based on recent rumblings in the community, region-locked Pokemon may soon be a thing of the past. Region locking in video games has been on its way out for a while now. If Pokemon GO wasn’t specifically geographical by design, it definitely wouldn’t have been locked in the first place.
Regardless, 2017 is slated to be an interesting year for the app. At the very least, region locking is expecting to be done with. I’m sure there will be plenty of other exciting additions as well.