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Pokemon Go:Everything From A to Z
Table of Contents
- 1 Pokemon Go Gameplay Details
- 2 What Is A Pokemon’s Combat Power?
- 3 Other Features In The Augmented Reality Mobile Video Game
- 4 Pokemon Go Development Details
- 5 Enhanced Pokemon Go Experience With Pokemon Go Plus
- 6 Pokemon Go Release Details
- 7 Details About The Regional Release Schedule For Pokemon Go
- 8 Pokemon Go Commercial Success Details.
- 9 The Role Of Nintendo in Pokemon Go
- 10 Other Businesses That Experienced Growth Because of Pokemon Go Augmented Reality Mobile Video Game.
- 11 Pokemon Go Technical Issues
- 12 Pokemon GO Glitch Problems.
- 13 Pokemon Go Overall Reception.
- 14 The Game’s Critical Reaction
- 15 Pokemon Go’s Success In Terms of Number of Downloads and The Resulting Generated Revenue
- 16 Pokemon Go Financial Success
- 17 Pokemon Go’s Social, Cultural and Communal Influence
- 18 A Decline in the Popularity of Pokemon Go
- 19 Pokemon Go Disparagement And Incidents
- 20 Pokemon Go Related Injuries
- 21 Pokemon Go Websites And Third-Party Applications For The Android Version of The Game.
Pokemon Go is an augmented reality mobile video game that is free-to-play and has been developed by Niantic Labs for various platforms including Android, iOS, and Apple Watch.
The augmented reality mobile video game is a location-based game, in the sense that each player experiences a slightly different version of the game in terms of gameplay.
Pokemon Go was released in July 2016 in selected regions but was subsequently made available for download in more regions when the developers behind the augmented reality mobile video game, Niantic Labs, actually set up servers to handle the increased amount of traffic.
Pokemon Go enables players to use their mobile device, or more specifically their mobile
device’s GPS feature, to find, capture and evolve pocket monsters (virtual monsters) called Pokemon.
In the game, these Pokemon Go monsters appear on the user’s mobile screen, at random intervals, as if they were present in the real world nearby a user’s location.
Pokemon Go augmented reality mobile video game also supports in-game purchases for Pokemon Go players. They can buy supplementary in-game special items which grant players unique attributes.
Even though Pokemon Go has been wildly successful in terms of its popularity, number of downloads and number of active players at a given time, the augmented reality mobile video game was met with mixed reviews upon launch.
Some critics admired the augmented reality mobile video game’s different concept and the fact that the game pushed players to actually get off their couches and walk in the real world (hence becoming more active as a direct result of playing the game) to catch Pokemon Go monsters.
Others criticized the augmented reality mobile video game for its pervasive technical issues such as bad servers and players not being able to catch nearby Pokemon Go monsters which had been ubiquitous soon after the game’s official launch.
As mentioned before, despite the mixed critical reviews (the augmented reality mobile video game currently holds a rating of 68 based on 36 critics on Metacritic and has a User Score rating of 5.5 based on 494 ratings), Pokemon Go was able to quickly gain a host of followers and became a social and global phenomenon within a month of its launch.
Pokemon Go augmented reality mobile video game became one of the most downloaded, used and commercially lucrative mobile applications in 2016.
Many experts in the gaming industry have hailed Pokemon Go as the beginning of mainstream augmented reality games. Before Pokemon Go, augmented reality games did not have any significant market share in terms of games and number of users playing those games.
Pokemon Go effectively changed that and popularized location based gaming.
The augmented reality mobile game was also accredited for motivating people to get involved in more physical activity and, quite unexpectedly, aiding local businesses in increasing their revenue because of increased sales.
With that said, it is also true that Pokemon Go, because of its large-scale admiration, also received its fair share of criticism such as becoming the cause of many accidents (some players were reported to have fallen off cliffs while trying to catch Pokemon Go monsters) while others were accused of causing trouble to the public at some locations.
Even though the game has been downloaded more than 500 million times now and has improved with the help a few updates from Niantic Labs, some governments still hold reservations about the augmented reality game’s safety and security features.
Several government officials have expressed questions about the game’s usefulness in terms of promoting health and social activities.
In fact, some countries (and other institutions) have passed laws against playing the augmented reality game because of the controversies Pokemon Go has been involved in.
Pokemon Go Gameplay Details
To play the augmented reality mobile video game a player has to sign up for a game account and has to create an avatar.
The avatar is created when the player has selected his/her desired hair type, skin and eye color along with style and other outfit customization options.
After a player has created his/her avatar, the augmented reality mobile video game displays the avatar on an in-game map by making use of the player’s location on the map (current geographical coordinates to be more precise).
The in-game map comes with its own set of features. The map shows Pokemon Go players locations for Poke Stops and Pokemon gyms.
Pokemon Go players can go to Poke Stops to collect in-game items such as eggs, Poke Balls, special options and berries.
Pokemon Go players can make use of in-game items such as Lure module on these Poke Stops to attract more Pokemon Go monsters from the wild. Sometimes, after using these special modules on Poke Stops, players can be presented with the opportunity to catch rare Pokemon Go monsters.
Pokemon Gyms, on the other hand, are also locations based inside the world of Pokemon Go (to some extent). These gyms are basically battle locations where Pokemon Go players can team up and fight in king of the hill type matches.
Pokemon gyms and Poke Stops are normally placed by the game’s engine at places of interest such as monuments, historical sites, artworks and museums along with bridges and various other branded business outlets.
It is widely believed that Niantic Labs borrowed the idea of introducing these locations in Pokemon Go from one of the studio’s earlier games, Ingress (which was Niantic’s first augmented reality mobile game but wasn’t as popular or financially successful as Pokemon Go).
Pokemon Go’s augmented reality mobile video game basically works by having the player move in the real world through actions such as walking and bike riding (basically at speeds less than that of motored vehicles such as cars, motorcycles,high-speed trains).
When a player moves in the real world, his/her avatar also moves within the game’s own map. The game has been designed in a such a way that different type of monsters reside and appear in different areas of the world.
For example, within the game, there are Pokemon monsters who are classified as water-type Pokemon monsters. These monsters appear only near large water bodies and players will only see these type of monsters when they are physically near water surroundings.
Moreover, when a player comes across a wild monster then the game allows the player to choose to view the monster in either a live generic background (usually a green grassy land) or in AR (Augmented Reality) mode.
This is also where the augmented reality aspect of the game is most apparent. The augmented reality mode makes use of the mobile device’s camera and the gyroscope feature to display a Pokemon monster (more precisely, the image of a monster on the mobile device’s screen) and the players are able to see the monster through their mobile screen’s display as if the monster was standing next to them in the real world.
Not only that, the game also allows players to take screenshots of monsters they might encounter out in the wild with an in-game feature. This screenshot feature of the augmented reality mobile video game is available to the players in both AR and non-AR modes.
The area with Pokemon Go departs from traditional previous Pokemon game installments in that players don’t have to (or don’t have the ability to) to fight wild creatures in battle if they want to capture one of them.
Instead, the augmented reality mobile video game wants players to throw a Poke Ball at encountered monsters by flicking the relevant icon that is located at the bottom of the mobile device’s screen towards the creature that has appeared near the player’s location.
When players encounter a random/wild monster within the game, they can make use of this gameplay mechanic to capture the creature if they successfully catch the monster.
Any caught monster comes under the direct ownership of the player.
But catching a nearby beast isn’t as straightforward as throwing a PokeBall at them. The game requires the player to capture these giants by taking into consideration factors such as the force behind the Pokeball, the timing of the throw and the type of Pokeball that was thrown at the creature.
If a player satisfies the aforementioned factors to some extent, the chances of a successful catch become greater.
The augmented reality mobile video game rewards a player with two different in-game currencies when a wild creature is caught successfully. These two rewards come in the form of candies and stardust.
Pokemon candies are awarded to players when they successfully catch the same monster multiple times.
In other words, a player earns candies depending on which evolutionary chain a particular beast belong to.
These two items, candies, and stardust can be used by the player to increase the combat power (CP) of the related, captured, creature.
With that said, if a player only wants to evolve a specific monster, then he/she can do that with the help of just candies.
As indicated before, every Pokemon evolution tree has a specific type of candy. These candies can only be used to evolve or upgrade (level up) a specific type of Pokemon monster.
If a player has too many of the same Pokemon then the game allows the player to transfer that particular Pokemon back to a Pokemon professor, named Professor Willow, in order to earn more candy and build space for more Pokemon monsters.
In short, the eventual goal of the augmented reality mobile video game is to complete the list of all Pokemon monsters in the PokeDex.
The PokeDex is the game’s all-inclusive Pokemon encyclopedia. A player can finish all entries in the encyclopedia by capturing all Pokemon monsters that are in the game and evolving them to their original 151 Pokemon monsters.
As mentioned before, Pokemon Go augmented reality mobile video game is a free to play game but it does have the option of in-app purchases which allow players to purchase supplementary Poke Balls along with other items that enhance the overall experience of the augmented reality mobile video game.
Essentially, there are three main items a player can buy from locations within the game. These are:
- Incense: these enable any Pokemon player to evoke more Pokemon monsters near his/her location as the player moves in the real world
- Lure Modules: these are used to attract more Pokemon monsters near fixed locations such as Poke Stops and Pokemon gyms.
- Lucky eggs: Lucky eggs can be utilized to double the amount of experience points a player gains after catching and evolving Pokemon monsters for a period of 30 minutes.
The time for the 30 minutes starts from the moment a player consumes Lucky eggs.
In Pokemon Go, all Pokemon monsters have an associated combat power number that is displayed along with their name.
What Is A Pokemon’s Combat Power?
The combat power of a creature is an assessment of how powerful a specific Pokemon monster is when it is engaged in battle.
Different Pokemon monsters will have different CP ratings regardless of the fact that they belong to the same species.
The Combat Power of any Pokemon monster should not be taken as the absolute deciding factor in a battle between two beasts.
As a general rule, the augmented reality mobile video game allows the player to catch more powerful Pokemon monsters as the player levels up by progressing further in the game.
To put it another way, the more experience points a Pokemon player earns, the higher his level becomes. The higher the level, the higher the Combat Power rating of nearby Pokemon monsters.
Other Features In The Augmented Reality Mobile Video Game
Players are awarded experience points when they accomplish various goals by completing various actions the augmented reality mobile video game offers. When a player finishes a particular in-game activity, he/she earns a specific amount of experience points based on how difficult or intensive that activity is.
Moreover, players can increase their player level (or level up more quickly) by completing more activities and tasks in the game to earn larger amounts of experience points.
As a player’s level rises, the augmented reality mobile video game opens up further opportunities for the player to earn an extra amount of experience points.
For example, when a player levels up to Level 5 in the game, the player is granted the ability to engage in battle at the various Pokemon gyms. Players are also given a choice to join one of the three in-game teams.
Each team has its own identifying color scheme. These three teams are,
- Team Valor, which represents the color Red
- Team Instinct, which represents the color Yellow
- Team Mystic, which represents the color Blue
These three teams play the role of factions in the world of Pokemon Go.
Pokemon Go gyms can be overtaken by players in various ways (some of which will be described later in the article). If players come across a Pokemon gym that is managed by a player that is part of another team then the game enables them to challenge the other team’s leader for battle.
If they win the battle then that results in that particular Pokemon Gym’s prestige being lowered.
Players can defeat more players of the team that is controlling the Pokemon gym to further lower the gym’s prestige level and once the prestige level is brought down to zero, the Pokemon Gym will come under the control of the other team that has won the majority of the battles.
Once a team has gained the control of a specific Pokemon Gym, it can post one Pokemon monster at the gym in order to defend it against, eventual, attacks from the players of other teams.
A team can increase the prestige of a particular Pokemon Gym by engaging the gym leader in battle. If the team wins the battle then they can tighten their control over a gym.
Whenever a team is able to level up the prestige of a Pokemon Gym, the game allows that team to post one more Pokemon monster to act as the defender of that Pokemon gym.
Niantic Labs, the studio behind the development of Pokemon Go augmented reality mobile video game, announced a new feature in September 2016 called “Pokemon Buddy” feature.
The Pokemon Buddy feature allowed Pokemon players to select which Pokemon monster would attach to their in-game player avatar that appears on the game’s profile screen.
The new feature also allowed players to earn more rewards and bonuses in the game.
The Pokemon Go Buddy feature was officially released on September 10, 2016. Niantic labs updated the augmented reality mobile video game with the help of patches and fixes.
The Pokemon Go Buddy update also allowed Niantic Labs to update the game in a manner that blocked Pokemon players with jailbroken or rooted mobile devices from playing the augmented reality mobile video game.
This, according to Niantic Labs, was done in order to stop players from cheating and leveling up quickly.
Pokemon Go Development Details
In 2014, Satoru Iwata, who works at Nintendo, and Tsunekazu Ishihara, who works at The Pokemon Company, studied the idea for Pokemon Go as an April Fool’s Day event in collaboration with Google.
The event was called Pokemon Challenge.
It was Ishihara who came up with the idea for the next iteration of the Pokemon series. Himself being a fan of Niantic Lab’s previous augmented reality mobile video game Ingress, Ishihara was able to find the perfect combination of Ingress’s trans reality gameplay with the Pokemon brand.
Niantic Labs utilized data that was collected from (or rather crowdsourced) Ingress to determine the locations of Poke Stops and Pokemon Gyms within the game. The studio behind Pokemon Go augmented reality mobile video game also used data from Google Maps to calculate spawn rates of specific Pokemon monsters and their various places of appearance and residence.
Niantic Labs then combined both of the aforementioned methods to populate the game with items, Pokemon monsters and in-game locations such as Poke Stops and Pokemon gyms.
Ishihara also devoted his September 10 speech at Pokemon Go’s announcement to Iwata who had died about two months prior to the game’s announcement, in 2015.
Junichi Masuda worked as a composer and a writer on the game’s soundtrack and also assisted in some of the augmented reality mobile video game’s design.
Dennis Hwang was one of Pokemon Go’s visual designers who had worked at Google previously. Hwang was also involved in the development of Gmail’s logo.
Niantic Labs announced the Japan-exclusive Pokemon Go beta test on March 4, 2016, and said that the beta program for the then unreleased augmented reality mobile video game would begin later in the month of March.
This enabled Niantic Labs to have plenty of opportunities to improve Pokemon Go augmented reality mobile video game with the help feedback from players in the beta program. It also allowed the studio behind the development of Pokemon Go to refine the game’s different mechanics and design before the final release.
Niantic Labs later announced the beta program for other countries as well. On April 7, 2016, the development studio publicized the beta program of Pokemon Go to other parts of the world such as Australia and New Zealand.
Later, on May 15, 2016, the signups for the augmented reality mobile video game’s field test were offered to the United States.
The beta testing phase for Pokemon Go officially ended on June 30.
Johan Hanke, who is the founder of Niantic Inc, spoke about the different aspects of Pokemon Go at Comic-Con 2016 and announced the presence of three team leaders which were:
- Candela, for Team Valor
- Spark, for Team Instinct
- Blanche, for Team Mystic
Hanke also revealed that studio had only implemented about 10 percent of the total ideas that they had in store for Pokemon Go augmented reality mobile video game.
Other features that were confirmed to come in future updates for the augmented reality mobile video game were:
- Pokemon Trading, which was one of the most anticipated features of the augmented reality mobile video game
- An increase in the number of Pokemon that are present in the game
- PokeStops to be developed with the addition of Pokemon Centers
- A fix for the three step glitch in Pokemon Go
- Training to be made much easier because of some future updates
All these new features, along with some improved old features, were confirmed at the event.
Hanke also said that Pokemon Go was a special project for Niantic Labs and the company would continue to support its augmented reality mobile video game for years to come.
In September 2016, while talking to TechCrunch in an interview, Hanke suggested to reporters that the ability to have player vs player battles in Pokemon Go will become a reality in one of the future updates for the augmented reality mobile video game.
Enhanced Pokemon Go Experience With Pokemon Go Plus
The Pokemon Go Plus is a wearable band that is developed by Nintendo. The wearable band is essentially a Bluetooth low energy wearable device that enables Pokemon players to complete certain tasks in the game without the need of looking directly at their mobile device’s screen or even take these devices out of their pockets.
The Pokemon Go Plus band vibrates when the Pokemon player is near a monster or a Poke Stop.
This then activates the mechanism through which the player only has to press a single button to capture the Pokemon or collect items from the nearby Poke Stop.
With that said, Pokemon players still have to sign into the application if they want to know the details about the items and monsters they have collected on their mobile device with the use of the wearable device.
Unless Pokemon players sign into their accounts, they cannot check what they have collected in terms of monsters and items.
Pokemon Go Plus band’s design consists of a shape that looks like a Google Maps pin and a Poke Ball.
It has also been revealed that the main motivation to introduce a wearable device rather than a smartwatch application for the augmented reality mobile video game was to attract more gamers for whom the price of smart watch was too expensive.
Pokemon Go Plus was released in the United Kingdom and North America on September 16, 2016.
Go here if you want to check out our review for Pokemon Go Plus.
Pokemon Go Release Details
Details About The Regional Release Schedule For Pokemon Go
Pokemon Go augmented reality mobile video game was not released worldwide on a single date because of server issues. Instead, Niantic Labs released the game on a regional basis after it had already released the game in the United States along with Australia and New Zealand.
Here are the individual release dates for different regions around the world for Pokemon Go augmented reality mobile video game,
- United States, Australia, New Zealand: July 6, 2016
- Germany: July 13, 2016
- United Kingdom: July 14, 2016
- Portugal, Spain, Italy: July 15, 2016
- Switzerland, Austria, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland: July 16, 2016
- Canada: July 17, 2016
- Puerto Rico: July 22, 2016
- France: July 24, 2016
- Hong Kong: July 25, 2016
- Latin America and the Caribbean Islands: August 3, 2016
- Brunei, Cambodia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam: August 6, 2016
As mentioned before, Pokemon Go augmented reality mobile video game did not have a worldwide launch date. The first launch date for the augmented reality mobile video game began on July 6, 2016 when Niantic Labs officially released the game in Australia, New Zealand and the United States.
Niantic Labs CEO, Johan Hanke, later established that Niantic Labs deliberately did not release the game in other regions of the world because of severe severe pressure because of high demand for the augmented reality mobile video game since the first launch. He also stated that Niantic had paused further release of the game until the company was comfortable with the issues that needed to be fixed.
The European release schedule for Pokemon Go started on July 13, 2016, and after that, the game quickly spread across Europe in almost all regions of the continent within the following ten days.
During the worldwide release schedule, it was reported in various media outlets that the augmented reality mobile video game would be released in Japan on July 20.
However the augmented reality mobile video game was delayed for a while after some leakers had supplied information regarding a sponsorship deal between the popular fast food chain Mcdonald’s and Pokemon Go.
With that said, the game was finally released in Japan on July 22 after a delay of just two days.
Another roadblock to the augmented reality mobile video game’s scheduled release date was encountered when the official launch of the game was postponed because of safety concerns in Nice, France on July 14 because of the terrorist attacks that took place on the day.
Pokemon Go was launched for France on July 15 instead.
The release schedule for Pokemon Go hit yet another snag when it was revealed that Niantic Labs was experiencing critical server issues not because of the massive number of players but because of third-party applications and websites that overloaded Niantic Labs’ servers.
Niantic Labs moved swiftly and shut down all third-party applications and websites that helped Pokemon Go players to find and hunt down specific Pokemon Go monsters.
After the shutdown, Niantic Lab was able to release the augmented reality mobile video game in other parts of the world according to the official schedule.
The game was released in Central and South America along with Southeast Asia in early august while Indonesia became the first country where Pokemon Go was officially available for download and play.
It was later revealed that gamers had been playing Pokemon Go augmented reality mobile video game since early July by downloading the .apk file for Pokemon Go from the internet well before the official launch date of August 6, 2016.
Surprisingly, Pokemon Go augmented reality mobile video game, still, has not been officially released in South Korea. Some voices in the media that are familiar with the matter say that the delay in release is because of major restrictions imposed on the use of online map data in the country.
Nonetheless, Pokemon Go augmented reality mobile video game was made available in a minor part of South Korea when, because of an apparent glitch, an area around Sokcho which lies in the northeastern part of the country was mistakenly determined to be part of South Korea and hence the game was fully playable in that area.
Niantic stated that the Sokcho area was erroneously considered to be a part of North Korea and hence that made the game fully playable for some South Koreans.
It was also reported that several people took advantage of the “glitch” and travelled to the Sokcho region of South Korea to play the augmented reality mobile video game.
In fact, it was noted that bus tickets from Seoul, the capital city of South Korea, had sold out when the glitch news was released to the public and people living in the Sokcho region of the country even shared the Wi-Fi password in various areas to tourists that came in from other parts of the country to play the game.
Pokemon players also managed to find a Pokemon gym that was located in Panmunjom region which lies in the Korean Demilitarized Zone. Later, Niantic labs removed that Pokemon gym from the augmented reality mobile video game.
Some people again had the opportunity to play Pokemon Go in South Korea when the game was officially launched in Japan. It was revealed that parts of the Busan region near South Korea had access to Pokemon Go as some part of the region was considered to be part of Japan in Niantic mapping data due to the nearness of Tsushima Island.
The augmented reality mobile video game also faced and still faces significant barriers to an official release date in China as mainland China does not allow Google services in the country and has actually blocked Google services through the use of the Great Firewall.
However, Pokemon Go players in China actually managed to buy the augmented reality mobile video game from an Australian App Store using fake IDs. They also utilized apps that helped with GPS spoofing in order to use Google services to play Pokemon Go.
Some Chinese people experienced Pokemon Go by downloading a clone mobile application by the name of City Spirit Go.
City Spirit Go was released alongside Pokemon Go’s Japan beta program. Even with the Great Firewall, some Chinese people were able to play Pokemon Go augmented reality mobile video game by exploiting the fact that the augmented reality mobile video game had been released in Hong Kong on July 25, 2016.
However, even with that exploit, only people living in regions of Manchuria, Xinjiang, Hainan and other areas such as Guangxi, Guangdong, and Yunnan were able to play the augmented reality mobile video game.
Pokemon Go players, or more precisely to-be Pokemon Go players, have proven themselves to be a determined bunch of mobile gamers. During its launch schedule for Southeast Asia, Niantic Labs did not release the augmented reality mobile video game for regions such as Myanmar and Pakistan, but gamers in areas such as Karachi, Yangon, Mandalay and Taunggyi found clever ways to play the game in its entirety after the augmented reality mobile video game was officially released in Thailand.
Pokemon Go Commercial Success Details.
The Role Of Nintendo in Pokemon Go
Because of Pokemon Go’s wild popularity, investors at Nintendo were invigorated by the fact that the initial response of the gaming community towards the augmented reality mobile video game was more positive.
When Pokemon Go augmented reality mobile video game was released on July 7, 2016, the share price of Nintendo rose by a total of 10 percent. After that, on July 14, the company’s share price further increased as high as 50 percent of the initial share price before the augmented reality mobile video game’s official release.
This happened despite the fact that Nintendo does not own The Pokemon Company and had very little to do, if anything, with the development of Pokemon Go augmented reality mobile video game.
According to official figures, Nintendo only owns a 32 percent stake in the Pokemon franchise, the rest is owned by two other companies.
The situation gets even more complicated because of the fact that is was Niantic Labs that was solely responsible for the development of the game. As a result of the augmented reality mobile video game’s success, the company is now worth more than $3 billion.
However, Nintendo’s share in Niantic is still unknown and remains undisclosed according to well-placed sources in the media.
Even without any input to develop the game, Nintendo’s stock continued to rise after the release of Pokemon go, so much so that by the time a week had passed after Pokemon Go’s launch, Nintendo’s market value had increased by a mammoth $9 billion USD.
Nintendo market value continued to rise well into the second week of Pokemon Go’s launch and by July 19, more than a week after the augmented reality mobile video game’s release, Nintendo’s stock value had doubled when compared to the stock price of the company before the launch of the augmented reality mobile video game.
It was also reported that turnover sales hit a record-breaking $6.6 billion while stock trades were considered to be responsible for more than a quarter of all trades on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
According to the Financial Times, most of the investors were not gambling on Pokemon Go, at least not primarily, but on Nintendo’s future mobile applications which could possibly piggyback on the success of Pokemon Go.
Nintendo had long been reluctant to enter the mobile games market because the company thought it would hurt its portable console sales business. But with the success of Pokemon Go augmented reality mobile video game, Nintendo had the perfect base to develop and control a significant portion of the augmented reality mobile video game market if not the mobile gaming market as a whole.
Now, it has been revealed, that Nintendo has made plans to develop as many as four more smartphone applications by March 2017.
Some investors are of the opinion that Pokemon Go basically laid a roadmap for Nintendo on how to attack the mobile gaming market in order to, eventually, attract customers to its main business of portable console gaming.
Moreover, the success of Pokemon Go further enhances Nintendo’s portfolio of having some of the most valuable character intellectual properties in the world including gaming franchises such as Metroid, The Legend of Zelda, and of course Super Mario.
By July 22, barely a month after Pokemon Go was first launched in the United States of America along with Australia and New Zealand, Nintendo’s market value had climbed by $17.6 billion since Pokemon Go’s launch. This was also the first time Nintendo had overtaken Sony in terms of the company’s total value.
But right after Nintendo had made the announcement that the company had not produced Pokemon Go, a fact that was known only to a handful of gamers, and did not expect to have noticeable financial gains from the success of the augmented reality mobile video game, the company’s stock value fell by 18 percent.
The company lost $6.7 billion in terms of its market value in a single day on July 25. The gigantic fall in Nintendo’s market value was the largest decline, in a single day, for Nintendo in over 25 years.
According to Macquarie Securities, Nintendo has approximately a 13 percent effective economic stake in the Pokemon Go mobile app.
Other Businesses That Experienced Growth Because of Pokemon Go Augmented Reality Mobile Video Game.
Nintendo was not the only company that had gained, and then later dropped, market value because of Pokemon Go’s unprecedented financial success. Other companies such as First Baking Co, Tomy, Bank of Kyoto along with TV Tokyo all saw substantial financial gains.
Moreover, Zagg, owns yet another company which produces battery cases, was able to experience a total of 25 percent increase in its stock price because of the success of Pokemon Go.
Pokemon Go Technical Issues
As indicated before, the augmented reality mobile video game was hit with severe technical issues because of out-of-service servers. It was widely reported that Niantic Labs’ servers were vastly overloaded because of unexpected usage levels of the studio’s augmented reality mobile video game.
Pokemon Go players had to endure regular game crashes along with authentication errors that had been prevalent in the game since launch.
Because of the massive scale of the game in terms of the number of players and their activity time, these errors persisted in the game for days after its official release.
Only Pokemon players with Gmail-based accounts were able to access the augmented reality mobile video game for the first two days. Players who had signed up for the game with their Pokemon Trainer Club accounts had no access to the augmented reality mobile video game during this time.
Pokemon Go players in Australia too suffered server errors on July 11 and did not hide their view that they had experienced server problems. This happened because players from the United Kingdom, had bypassed the local servers and accessed the augmented reality mobile video game by using Australian servers before the official launch of the game.
Niantic Labs had to face more server issues when, on July 16, after the game had been released in Europe for just a few hours, Pokemon Go servers went down again.
However, this time the blackout was claimed to have been caused by a hacking group by the name of PoodleCorp.
PoodleCorp stated that the hacking group had made use of a DDoS attack in order to shut down Pokemon Go servers.
The issues were resolved later on the same day and a message was put up on the official Pokemon Go Twitter page after it had initially taken notice of the blackout.
There was no rest day for Niantic Labs’ along with other people working with Pokemon Go as more servers went down when the studio behind the augmented reality mobile video game launched the game in Canada.
This time though, the company’s CEO, Johan Hanke sent out a public statement in which he apologized for the Pokemon Go server issues at Comic Con 2016. He stated that they simply weren’t provisioned for what happened.
It was reported that some Pokemon Go players had experienced problems with the installation process of Pokemon Go on the iOS platform.
For some reason, the augmented reality mobile video game required iOS users to grant the application complete access to their Google accounts. Any player who complied with the requirement basically allowed the game’s app to access player’s Gmail-based account along with other services such as Google Drive files, video and photos that the user might have stored in Google Photos and other forms of content within that user’s Google account.
When the Pokemon Go community raised their voice against the security problems that the app might cause, The Pokemon Company along with Niantic answered its concerns by acknowledging the fact that the iOS application for the game, mistakenly at the time, did ask users for full access permission to users Google accounts.
Later on, the person who had initially revealed information about the potential security issues regarding Pokemon Go permission requests, in a Tumblr post, said that he wasn’t a hundred percent sure whether his claims were valid.
Trail of Bits CEO, Dan Guido, inspected Pokemon Go application’s code and identified that even though the augmented reality mobile video game asked for full access to the user’s Gmail account, that action did not automatically allow third-party applications to use any information from the user’s account as was initially claimed by the author behind the Tumblr post.
However, Guido did discover that the full access permission, inadvertently, allowed Niantic Labs rights of entry into user’s email address and phone numbers
Niantic Labs later released an update for the iOS version of the augmented reality mobile video game that decreased the extent of access that was required to sign up for the game.
The company behind the augmented reality mobile video game also circulated a statement that assured Pokemon Go players that the company had not used or collected player information and neither did it access any information that was considered unnecessary in the use of the augmented reality mobile video game’s application.
Pokemon GO Glitch Problems.
Server issues were just one of the many problems that rose up in Pokemon Go. The augmented reality mobile video game also went through many other glitches.
The glitches that stood out the most came to the fore on July 2016 (mid-July 2016 to be precise) and essentially wrecked the augmented reality mobile video game’s tracking feature, which allowed Pokemon Go players to track down monsters in order to catch them.
Under normal circumstances, the tracking feature in the game uses a process of three steps to allow players to track down different Pokemon Go monsters.
The tracker indicates from zero to three steps (footprints) to alert the player about a nearby Pokemon Go monster. Pokemon players can then measure, to some degree, how close or away they are from a nearby Pokemon monster.
For many Pokemon players, the glitch somehow caused the tracking feature to remain stuck at three steps. Hence the glitch was aptly named the “three-step-glitch.”
Because of the glitch, Pokemon Go player could not see any Pokemon no matter where they moved or how close they got a particular Pokemon that was roaming in the wild.
In a July 20 update for the game, Niantic Labs instead of fixing the issue removed the feature from the augmented reality mobile video game in its entirety.
Understandably the update led to wide scale furore from individual players and the Pokemon Go community alike.
In the month of August, Pokemon Go augmented reality mobile video game was hit with yet another glitch. This time, the glitch replaced Pokemon player’s caught Pokemon with some random monsters in the game.
This glitch was also officially recognized by Niantic Labs.
Other glitches which popped up from time to time included ones that made catching Pokemon Go monsters almost impossible with the help of Poke Balls and the game getting stuck at random intervals.
Another glitch allowed Pokemon Go players to find and catch legendary Pokemon Go monsters which weren’t intended to be in the game at that moment in time.
Legendary Pokemon GO monsters are basically creatures that are immensely powerful and rare versions of the augmented reality mobile video game’s normal beasts.
Niantic Labs moved swiftly to address the problem and removed all instances of Legendary Pokemon from Pokemon players’ PokeDex in order to keep the augmented reality mobile video game fair to other Pokemon trainers who had not caught any of the glitched legendary Pokemon monsters.
Pokemon Go Overall Reception.
The Game’s Critical Reaction
The augmented reality mobile video game generally received mixed reviews from the critics and had a rating of:
- 68/100 on Metacritic
- 3.5/10 on Destructoid
- 7/10 on GameSpot
- 7/10 on IGN
- 7.5/10 on Polygon
- 2 stars out of 5 on The Guardian
- 3 stars out of 5 on Time
After the release of the augmented reality mobile video game, many critics appreciated the game for its enjoyable experience but did not hesitate to state the augmented reality mobile video game’s many technical issues.
With that said Pokemon Go was able to garner many positive reviews because of some of the game’s unique features.
Oscar Dayus, who works as a staff writer at Pocket Gamer, was of the opinion that the game was exceedingly entertaining and then further added that the very personal nature of catching Pokemon monsters in his neighborhood made him smile more than any game had for years.
Jeremy Parsh, who works as a writer at US Gamer, distinguished the augmented reality mobile video game for its social elements that rivaled those of massively multiplayer online games (MMOs).
Some other reviewers also admired the augmented reality mobile video game for having game mechanics that motivated people go out and participate in some physical activity.
Terri Schwartz, who works for IGN, spoke about how Niantic’s latest augmented reality mobile video game was secretly the best exercise app out there in the market. She also remarked on how the game changed here walking routine on a daily basis.
Patrick Allen, who works for Lifehacker, went one step further than the rest of the reviewers and actually wrote an entire article about tips on how to workout with nothing but a Pokemon Go application.
Julia Belluz, who works at Vox, opined that Pokemon Go augmented reality mobile video game could become the greatest unintentional health fad ever and also suggested that the game developers couldn’t have possibly intended the game to become useful for getting people to move as a result of playing the augmented reality mobile video game.
Philips Kollar and Allegra Frank, who both work at Polygon (which is a gaming website that’s in partnership with Vox Media), asserted that Pokemon Go was an exciting social experience but did cast doubt over the game’s’ longevity because of the lack of depth of stimulating content.
They also said the augmented reality mobile video game’s future was dependent on the frequency with which Niantic Labs will update it with new features and bug fixes.
They also said that depending on Niantic Labs’ effort, the augmented reality mobile video game could last for several years or flame out as a “brush fire craze that the whole gaming world is talking about for a few weeks and then is forgotten.”
While Pokemon Go had its fair share of praise in the media, there were also those critics who did not rate the game so highly. Some critics,with negative judgments about the game, were of the opinion that the game had too many crash issues along with other technical issues.
A few even cited the game’s simplistic gameplay as the reason for a negative review.
Kallie Plagge of IGN voiced her own opinion and said that Pokemon Go wasn’t a game with much depth or finesse but the other social aspects of the game more than made up for the game’s numerous faults.
Matt Peckham, who works for Time, added his own thoughts by saying that the game suffered too many crashes for it to be highly praised. Destructoid’s Mike Cosimano praised the game for the original idea but added that it did not live to expectations.
Kat Brewster of The Guardian noted that Pokemon Go was a great experience for gamers who wanted exposure to augmented reality games but Pokemon Go wasn’t a good game.
Pokemon Go also had to go through a lot of negative press because of the server issues the game faced in the early part of its launch date.
Miguel Concepcion of Gamespot stated that while he enjoyed the augmented reality mobile video game’s heavy reliance on aspects such as social appeal and refreshing visual design, Pokemon Go’s initial iteration was a buggy mess on all levels.
He cited the constant problems with Niantic Labs’ servers as a contributing factor to the game’s overall rating from the critics.
As mentioned before, the “three-step-glitch” didn’t do any favors to the game either as the reviewers did not hesitate in highlighting Pokemon Go’s various bugs. The game received a lot of negative press because of that.
Patricia Hernandez of Kotaku later observed that the three step glitch added to what had been a terrible launch for the augmented reality mobile video game.
Forbes’ Paul Tassi expressed his feelings by saying that because of the frequent bug and glitches, it was anyone’s best guess where Pokemon are 99% of the time.
He also said that the various bugs in the game rendered almost all traditional methods of tracking Pokemon monsters, pointless.
Pokemon Go’s Success In Terms of Number of Downloads and The Resulting Generated Revenue
Pokemon Go augmented reality mobile video game quickly became one of the highest downloaded games in the history of the United States of America. The augmented reality mobile video game conquered the US version of iOS App Store’s “Free” and “Top Grossing” charts and became the quickest game ever to have topped the Google Play Store and the iOS App Store.
It beat the previous record held by Clash Royale.
Pokemon Go also became the most downloaded mobile application on the App Store in terms of number of downloads in the first week after the official launch date.
According to a report from SimilarWeb, the augmented reality mobile video game was installed on more than 5 percent of the Android devices in the Unites States of America within two days of the game’s release.
SensorTower also reported that the game was able to reach the 10 million mark in terms of number of downloads within seven days of its release and consequently became the fastest application in its category to reach that milestone.
Of course, Pokemon Go went further ahead when it reached 15 million downloads, globally by July 13.
SurveyMonkey came out with its own report which stated that Pokemon Go was the most active mobile game in terms of number of active users at any given time, in the history of United States with 21 million active users that were recorded on July 12.
Pokemon Go surpassed the previous record of 20 million active users at one time which was held by Candy Crush Saga.
But Pokemon Go’s success wasn’t limited to just the United States or even the North American continent. It was reported that by July 15, about 1.3 million people were logging in hours into the game in Netherlands.
That might not be the biggest number in and of itself but considering the fact that the game hadn’t been even officially launched in the country, the 1.3 million figure is certainly a big one.
In Asia, when the game was released in Japan, it was reported that more than 10 million had downloaded the Pokemon Go app. More than 1.3 million of those 10 million people had downloaded the game’s app within the first three hours of the game’s official launch.
By the time July 31 came around (still inside a month of Pokemon Go’s first release date in the United States and Australia), the augmented reality mobile video game had reached 100 million downloads worldwide.
This fact was confirmed by reliable sources such as SensorTower and App Annie. Pokemon Go reached the milestone of more than 100 million downloads from Google Play Store alone on August 8, 2016, which was just 33 days after the game’s initial launch event.
Pokemon Go Financial Success
Pokemon Go was able to generate more than $75 million in revenue along by July 26, 2016. Most of, if not all, this revenue was produced through in-game purchases such as Poke Coins and other special items in the game including Lure Modules and Incense.
The hugely popular augmented reality mobile video game reached the landmark figure of $160 million within a month of its launch date.
According to a report by App Annie which was published on July 29, it was revealed that Pokemon Go generated revenue that was in excess of $10 million USD every 24 hours from iOS and Google Play Pokemon players.
According to another report by Sensor Tower that appeared in the first month of Pokemon Go’s release, it was stated that the augmented reality mobile video game had generated more than $200 million USD (United States Dollars) from its worldwide base of users, in revenue.
This revenue effectively smashed every previous record that was set by games such as Candy Crush and Clash of Clans by a country mile.
But Pokemon Go did not stop there as its marketing machinery continued to attract more users to the augmented reality mobile video game.
According to a report from Financial Times that was printed on August 12, 2016, it was affirmed that the game made $268 million USD in revenue after the first five weeks after its official launch.
Amazingly, that $268 million figure was as a result of just three markets: the US, UK, and German.
Pokemon Go also beat out applications from other categories, like Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Tinder in terms of average daily use time on Android devices.
The colossal financial success of Pokemon Go, incentivised other app developers to focus their efforts on developing their own version of augmented reality mobile video games using Augmented Reality (AR) Software Development Kits (SDK).
By the time Pokemon Go had clocked two months, the game crossed the $440 million mark in worldwide generated revenue. This was reported by SensorTower in September 2016.
The wildly marketable augmented reality mobile video game from Niantic Labs’ also made it to the Guinness World Records in August 2016 when it made history with five records.
Those five records were as follows:
- Most downloaded mobile game in the first month with 130 million downloads
- Fastest time to gross $100 by a mobile game application. Pokemon Go made the record in 20 days on July 26.
- Most number of simultaneously topped international charts for a mobile video game within the first month of official launch. Pokemon Go became the game with the most downloads in 77 countries at the same time.
- Most downloaded mobile game within the first month of its launch. Pokemon Go had 130 million downloads within the first week of its official release date.
- Most number of simultaneously topped international charts in terms of gross revenue for a mobile video game within the first month of its official release data. Pokemon Go was the highest earning mobile video game in over 55 countries at the same time.
Pokemon Go, as of September 8, 2016, has reached the milestone of over 500 downloads worldwide and has joined the elite group of most downloaded mobile applications.
Though there are mobile applications out there that have been downloaded in the region of 1 billion times like Google Chrome and Skype, Pokemon Go is likely to reach that mark if Niantic Labs continues to deliver new content to the augmented reality mobile video game with regular updates and patches.
Pokemon Go is also the fastest game to generate revenue in excess of $500 million worldwide.
Pokemon Go’s Social, Cultural and Communal Influence
The vast majority of the gaming community along with other people, consider Pokemon Go augmented reality mobile video game more of a social phenomenon rather than just another hit mobile video game.
The augmented reality mobile video game has been credited with bringing people from different walks of life together. Pokemon Go has also attracted an impressive number of non-gamers to mobile gaming for the first time.
In August 2016, various reports revealed that Pokemon Go had been the topic of discussion in over 1.1 billion interactions between 231 million people on social media websites such as Facebook and Instagram in the month of July alone.
Moreover, some media outlets have also described the augmented reality mobile video game as “Pokemon Go Mania” and “Pokemania.”
Some news websites, such as this one, have also used the term “PoGo” as a short form Pokemon Go as well.
Aside from the game’s obvious physical benefits, the augmented reality mobile video game has also been involved in some unexpected social effects.
Various media outlets reported the news when some Pokemon Go players were able to catch a criminal while they were playing the augmented reality mobile video game. Other examples include incidences where Pokemon Go players reported crimes that were taking place in the neighborhood such as reporting arsonists, helping marines catch murderers, aiding cops to catch robbers amongst others.
Some players of the popular augmented reality mobile video game even helped law enforcement personnel’s relationship with their relevant communities, though that came with its own limitations.
Pokemon Go has also, inadvertently, helped out local businesses. Some businesses have reported increased sales because of being near to Poke Stops. Some business outlets have even been made PokeStops by Niantic Labs.
Places of in-game interest that are present in the real world have seen increased number of visitors because of the augmented reality mobile video game. Businesses near Poke Stops and Pokemon gyms have also seen an increased number of customers since the game’s launch.
The other unexpected side effect of people playing Pokemon Go on such a large scale has been the exploration of local historical sites by more visitors than ever before.
Some Pokemon players have also been lead to places of worship along with other places of significant historical importance as many of the game’s Poke Stops and Pokemon gyms have ended up being placed at these locations.
Some reports have also suggested that Pokemon Go has brought some of its players to religious gatherings more frequently. Though this opinion is not shred by all religious leaders. Some however think that the game has helped religious people to go to their places of worship and pray.
In fact, a report also indicated that some historical places such as small museums which normally don’t get a lot of visitors on a regular basis have brought in-game items such as Lure Modules and Incense to attract more Pokemon monsters and hence more Pokemon players to their real estate.
Additionally, the game has allowed other new secondary markets to emerge and grow.
It was reported that various Pokemon players started to sell high-level accounts of the augmented reality mobile video game on Craigslist and Playerup within a week of the game’s official launch date.
Pokemon Go has also encouraged people to sell expert advice and tips on how to play the game more efficiently on sites such as Thumbtack.
Other technology companies such as the T-Mobile US and Yelp have also jumped on the Pokemon Go bandwagon.
Recently, T-Mobile US offered customers free data for a whole year to play Pokemon Go while Yelp introduced a new filter which only indicated places of business that had a Poke Stop located nearby.
When Pokemon Go was released in the United States of America, the National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington, D.C. saw a drastic increase in the number of visitors to the park. Some reports put the number of visitors at one weekend at “hundred of thousands.”
Similarly, small museums that had Poke Stops near by also experienced an increase in
Museums such as McNay Art Museum in San Antonio along with other museums such as Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Boca Raton, Florida, all encountered a sharp increase in the number of visitors.
Pokemon Go not only boosted the attendance numbers to places such as museums and parks, but also benefited other entities such as charity organizations. Some charitable institutions that handle animal shelters offered dog walks to Pokemon players who wanted to hatch Pokemon eggs while trying to walk dogs.
Pokemon Go augmented reality mobile video game was mentioned by notable public figures as well.
The United States presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump talked about the game in their speeches during the 2016 election campaign and the mayor of Rio De Janeiro, Eduardo Paes, also expressed his desire for Pokemon Go to be released in Brazil before the start of the Summer Olympics games in the country.
Niantic Labs released the augmented reality mobile video game in Brazil on August 3 while the Summer Olympics started on August 5.
Other political figures such as the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella also got into the act and talked about how a political referendum issue is actually as absurd as a quest to find Pokemon monsters.
Michael Page, a Bellator MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) Fighter, celebrated one of his wins against Evangelista Santos by rolling a portable Poke Ball while having a red Ash Ketchum hat on his head.
Dwayne Johnson, a former wrestler who’s transitioned into movies, also released a promotional video along with MatPat and Ali-A, by posing as a rare Pokemon himself.
As indicated before, Pokemon Go has been praised for bringing augmented reality mobile video games into the mainstream of the gaming industry and community.
Media outlets such as the BBC and the Huffington Post both published reports where Pokemon Go helped a patient that had autism.
Moreover, online streaming services such as Hulu reported an increase in the number of viewers for various Pokemon TV series and films.
Nintendo also disclosed a boost in the sale numbers of 3DS Pokemon games as a direct result of Pokemon Go’s widespread recognition and acclaim.
Twitch, a website that is considered to be world’s leading video platform and community for gamers, had a channel named Twitch Plays Pokemon Go that was created to imitate another channel by the name of Twitch Plays Pokemon which took advantage of new gaming trends such as Crowd Play.
The channel allowed viewers to make decisions for the virtual avatar in the game with the use of a smartphone device such as a modified iPhone that could spoof its location.
However, Niantic Labs was quick to ban players who cheated on the game by stimulating different GPS coordinates and using bots.
A Decline in the Popularity of Pokemon Go
In August 2016, it was reported that the number of users who played the augmented reality mobile video game on a daily basis dropped to 30 million from a previous high of 45 million.
The editor of PocketGamer.Biz, Craig Chappell, commented on the drop by saying that if the numbers continued to drop so dramatically,m who would be left to play “you in your small, local town?”
Pokemon Go Disparagement And Incidents
The first thing Pokemon Go augmented reality mobile video game was criticized for was when the game selected locations such as memorials and graveyards as sites for the appearance of Pokemon Go monsters.
These sites included:
- Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum,
- the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum,
- the ANZAC War Memorial,
- Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
- National September 11 Memorial and Museum
- Arlington National Cemetery
On receiving many complaints about these selected locations, Niantic Labs’ finally removed locations from the augmented reality mobile video game that encompassed these sensitive and historic areas. The first areas from where Niantic Labs’ removed Pokemon Go content were the Holocaust Museum and Hiroshima Memorial.
ProRail, which is a Dutch company, also protested against the game and said that Pokemon Go players impeded their operations because some of them set foot on the company’s railway tracks.
Some fire stations also informed Pokemon Go players to not gather outside their building because it directly interfered with their staff duties.
Moreover, some residents of the Sydney suburb of Rhodes also complained against Pokemon Go players and said that such a large number of people in the area was not conducive to a quiet environment.
A few residents of the area even tossed some water bombs towards Pokemon Go players in order to make them go away.
But Pokemon Go disrupted normal operations of residential areas in more ways than one. Some reports said that the augmented reality mobile video game was the reason why there were so many traffic blockades.
Some blamed the augmented reality mobile video game for problems such as disproportionate littering, noise, and parking violations.
According to one news report from Gamespot, it was revealed that Pokemon Go almost destroyed a quiet suburb by causing a large number of Pokemon Go players to move in the area in search of hunting down more Pokemon Go monsters.
More than 250 parking violation tickets were issued by the authorities in the quiet suburb and Niantic Labs even removed three Poke Stops from the area, Rhodes, to make some sort of amends for disturbing the area’s peaceful atmosphere.
Pokemon Go was also criticized for the algorithm the game used for placing Poke Stops and Pokemon gyms.
As mentioned before, Niantic Labs used data collected from its previous science fiction augmented reality video game Ingress (a game much like Pokemon Go but had Portals instead of Poke Stops or Pokemon gyms) and because of that, some minority neighborhoods had less Poke Stops and Pokemon gyms.
Pokemon Go players in the rural areas also protested against the lack of Pokemon monsters, Poke Stops and Pokemon gyms in their areas. Some industry insiders say that the different spawn rates of in-game elements are a direct result of the American demographics.
In order to address the problem of Pokemon monsters, along with Poke Stops and Pokemon gyms, not showing up in rural areas and the like, Niantic Labs opened up a support page for Pokemon Go players who were experiencing these issues.
The support page from Niantic Labs allowed Pokemon Go players to send in an application that requested the addition of more PokeStops and Pokemon gyms in their particular areas.
Kotaku had originally released the story but Niantic Labs later removed the support page completely.
Among many other criticisms, Pokemon Go augmented reality mobile video game has also been denounced for not being too friendly for people with disabilities.
In other words, Pokemon Go has some serious accessibility issues for people who are physically impaired.
The augmented reality mobile video game, being a game that requires players to move around a lot to locate, catch and evolve Pokemon Go monsters, is not suitable for people who have difficulty in moving around.
The augmented reality mobile video game is also difficult for players who aren’t dexterous with the use of their hands since the game requires players to manually perform hand related skills to actually play the game.
Tasks such as throwing Poke Balls and ducking incoming attacks by swiping fingers across the screen in various directions in a short amount of time has been described as a big turn off for people with disabilities.
Now nonprofit organizations such as The AbleGamers Foundation have sent the developers of the augmented reality mobile video game, Niantic Labs, a list of suggested alterations which they think should be incorporated in the game to make it more accessible.
Pokemon Go Related Injuries
Pokemon Go augmented reality mobile video game has also been the cause of various injuries to Pokemon Go players.
The most violent of these accidents was reported by the Daily Mail, where an 18-year-old boy in Chiquimula, Guatemala was shot and killed in the evening hours while he was engaged in playing Pokemon Go.
The death of the 18-year-old Pokemon Go player was the first reported fatal accident in relation to Pokemon Go app.
Additionally, another boy, who was accompanying the one who was killed, was also shot in the foot. The second boy was seventeen years old.
According to a report from The Independent, it was hinted the killers of the eighteen-year-old boy were able to track him and his companion down by using the game’s GPS feature.
The global outreach of Pokemon Go augmented reality mobile video game can be judged, to some extent, by the fact that the accidents that have taken place because of the game being played in hazardous situations have been reported from all corners of the world.
In Japan, the first Pokemon Go related accident took place within the first few hours of the game’s official launch date.
On the other hand, the first death that was reported from a Pokemon go related accident in Japan was reported in late August 2016.
It was reported that an inattentive driver, who was later revealed to be a 39-year-old farmer, was unable to notice a woman who was crossing the street and hit the woman while driving the truck.
The woman died because of a broken neck that was caused by the truck accident.
Later, it was revealed that this incident was actually the 79 nth reported Pokemon Go accident in Japan since the game’s official launch date. Japan’s National Police Agency later confirmed the statistics.
A young girl in Cambodia was also killed in a Pokemon Go related accident when she was hit by a speeding car while she was distracted with trying to catch a Pokemon on the road. The girl did not notice the oncoming vehicle and was hit by the fast moving car.
The girl’s fatal accident was the first Pokemon Go related death in the country and also the first case in Southeast Asian countries. The incident took place on August 11, 2016.
In Egypt, the renowned Al-Azhar University decreed that the augmented reality mobile video game should be banned because it was not a game but was actually a “harmful mania”.
A member of the parliament on the country’s defense and national security committee declared the augmented reality mobile video game as an eavesdropping instrument.
Kuwait also banned the game from being played on any government site or in any official building.
A government official in Indonesia considered the game a national security threat while the IDF, in Israel, also banned the augmented reality mobile video game from being played in Army bases in order to avoid any security complications.
A host of other countries such as Saudi Arabia also prohibited the augmented reality mobile video game from being played.
The country’s General Secretariat of the Counter of Senior Scholars, that had previously banned the Pokemon card game back in 2001, because it deemed it to be a form of gambling, asserted that the new form of Pokemon Go augmented reality mobile video game necessitated a new ruling.
Prominent Muslim leaders in Malaysia and India also recommended Malaysian and Indian Muslims to not play the game because of the harmful effects associated with the augmented reality mobile video game.
Similar cases were observed in places such as Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Singapore, and Russia.
For example, in Thailand Pokemon Go players were prohibited from entering polling stations in Thailand’s 2016 constitutional referendum polling event.
The Thai National Broadcasting and Communications Commission showed intention to ask Niantic Labs to provide the country with Pokemon Go-free zones. These Pokemon Go free zones would include places such as private properties, rivers, footpaths that could prove to be dangerous for Pokemon Go players, government facilities, along with any historic and religious sites.
When some Pokemon Go player showed up at a genocide site in their search to find and capture more Pokemon Go monsters, the Cambodian government banned the game from being played at such sensitive locations.
Vietnam, following the trend, has also made the augmented reality mobile video game illegal inside the government building and defense offices.
In a report that was published on August 20, 2016, in Vietnam it was indicated that the Vietnamese Ministry of Information and Communications would seek to outlaw the augmented reality mobile video game because of the negative side effects the game was starting to have on the Vietnamese society in general.
It was reported that Vietnamese citizens wasted a lot of time by going out, at night, to hunt Pokemon Go monsters and jay-walking.
Seeing other Southeast Asian countries putting an embargo on playing Pokemon Go augmented reality mobile video game, the Philippines also proscribed the augmented reality mobile video game in all administration offices of the country.
Moreover, the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) recently came up with a survey which showed that around 4% employers in Malaysia had actually fired employees for playing the augmented reality mobile video game during office hours.
However, Malaysia’s neighboring country, Singapore, has, until now not issued a ruling on Pokemon Go even though the augmented reality mobile video game has caused massive problems in the country.
Most of the complaints regarding Pokemon Go players have been related to the fact that Pokemon Go players are unable to remain aware of their surroundings and hence put their lives, along with others’, in danger while trying to catch Pokemon Go monsters without any regard for people and the various moving objects around them.
Some have also complained about Pokemon Go players disturbing the tranquil atmosphere of some residential areas.
In Taiwan, Pokemon Go caused a stampede in the Beitou district when hundreds and thousands of Pokemon Go players had gathered in a park and tried to catch a Pokemon monster by the name of Snorlax.
It was reported that some Pokemon Go players were almost hit by a moving bike and the police could not control the human wave as a result of the stampede.
Japan also experienced a stampede in Odaiba, Tokyo because of Pokemon Go augmented reality mobile video game when thousands of Pokemon go players tried to catch another Pokemon monster by the name of Lapras.
The event caused an immense traffic jam and lead to a stampede. This event took place on September 18, 2016.
Similar cases of unrest and security complications lead governments in Russia, the USA, Iran and the United Kingdom to put restrictions on where Pokemon Go was allowed to be played. Iran, however, banned the game in its entirety citing security concerns.
Pokemon Go Websites And Third-Party Applications For The Android Version of The Game.
In September 2016, Niantic Labs (the studio behind the development of Pokemon Go) introduced an update to the game that blocked Cyanogen (a customized mobile operating system) users from accessing Pokemon Go.
However before that, according to Niantic Labs, the studio had to suffer through severe server issues because of some third-party applications that helped Pokemon Go players to hunt down rare Pokemon monsters by providing them with real-time locations of Pokemon monsters on a map.
All these third-party applications and websites were, understandably, considered to be unofficial. Most of the applications, according to their developers, only served one purpose that was to facilitate Pokemon Go players who wanted to get ahead in the game without spending too much time on hunting down their favorite Pokemon monsters.
Among a host of third-party applications and websites, the most prominent ones were Poke Radar and Helper For Pokemon Go.
These applications allowed Pokemon Go players to crowdsource information regarding locations of all Pokemon monsters in the augmented reality mobile video game. These apps also gathered data about every Pokemon’s appearance time.
At one point, the third-party app Poke Radar was ranked at the number 2 spot on the App Store. At thhe number one position on iOS App Store, at that time, was Pokemon Go.
GoChat was another third-party application that enabled Pokemon Go players to record and leave messages for other Pokemon Go players at specified locations in the game.
Over 1 million people downloaded the application within five days of its launch and as a result, the app hit a top 10 ranking in the Apple App Store.
Unlike almost all other third-party Pokemon Go applications, GoChat was not monetized.
Pokemon Go sparked the development of 215 fake Pokemon Go applications that were made available to the public for download within two weeks of the game’s official launch date.
These fake Pokemon Go applications, in most cases, had been infected with viruses and malware.
The list of Pokemon Go third-party applications would not be complete without a special mention of PokeVision.
PokeVision was another Pokemon Go third-party application that allowed Pokemon players to locate the whereabouts of any Pokemon that had spawned near the player’s own location. It also indicated the time that was left before the nearby Pokemon disappeared into oblivion.
Over 27 million people visited the PokeVision official website before the site was shut down by Niantic Labs.
Other third-party apps and websites suffered a similar fate when Niantic Labs took swift action against these services for violating the company’s term of service.
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