Pokemon Go was released on July 6th, 2016


Pokemon Go was released on July 6th, 2016   

Pokemon Go was released on July 6th, 2016, and became an almost overnight sensation. Based on the popular Nintendo game, Pokemon, which has undergone many iterations since its beginning, Pokemon Go captured the imaginations of thousands of players. Pokemon Go is an application for both Android and iOS devices developed by the company Niantic. Niantic first used the program found within the Pokemon Go application on their other game, Ingress, which focuses on traveling to different geographical locations to interact with in-game objects. Pokemon Go takes this same logic to the idea of “catching” Pokemon; fantastical creatures that battle each other. The player walks around their physical town while carrying their phone. The location services of the phone pinpoint the player in relation to in-game items, such as Gyms, where players battle, and wild Pokemon, which are caught to increase the player’s team. Shortly after the release of the game, Niantic ran into severe server strain, as they were not prepared for the influx of users who were trying to play the game. While the number of people who played Pokemon Go in the first month after its release continued to increase, many players were unable to access the game due to geographical locks and server issues.

While the original popularity of Pokemon Go caused a jump in Nintendo’s stock presence, the subsequent issues with the game led to its steady decline. While the original idea of placing game spots in the real world acted as a selling point, the reality of trespassing on private property soon caused issues for the game. Similarly, Niantic had to force an update to their game that caused the system to shut down if the player was traveling too quickly. This was inspired by a series of car accidents that were caused by players using their phones while operating vehicles Due to server issues that caused the player to “drift” wildly from one area to another, they soon allowed for the game to continue running as long as the user agreed that they were not driving a vehicle, merely riding inside one. Along with the legal issues, the North American servers were too overwhelmed to keep up with the in game mechanic that allowed for the tracking of Pokemon to different locations. In an attempt to decrease the server load, Niantic discontinued this tracking feature. This led to a sharp decline in the number of players on the application itself, as it was near impossible to collect Pokemon intentionally without the tracking system.

Today, while Pokemon Go is still played by a large number of people, it has fallen from the original swarm of players that it originally hosted. Part of this is due to the novelty of the application wearing off, as well as the changes pushed by the developer. While some speculate that the game itself will increase in popularity again over the summer months, there is no denying that Pokemon Go resulted in an unprecedented crowd of players all working together to hunt down Pokemon in an attempt to truly “Catch ‘Em All.”




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