Nintendo has taken the world for the past few weeks with Pokemon Go. Go, the latest in the Pokemon series, is a new, innovative, way to playing Pokemon, and not for the lazy.
Pokemon has widely been one of the most successful series though mostly playable on a GameBoy, Pokemon Go takes a different approach. Go is available as an app for smartphones. You can get the game from the app store, install, sign up or use your Google Account, and start playing, and best of all its free!
This is where the game differs, from the rest. Using GPS to track players, you, the player, can only find and catch Pokemon by moving around in the real world. The game syncs with what looks like maps and creates a Pokemon world around you. As you move, walk, not drive, around you run into Pokemon that you can catch. Though finding Pokemon may be difficult for some, there are enough to go around. Once you’ve reached level 5 you can battle a gym. Yes, there are battles, with pretty cool animations.
The game has been one of the most talked about things for awhile now and rightfully so. Its a new take at gaming using the physical world around you and perfectly pairs with Pokemon. Players get a fresh new way to play and enjoy the Pokemon world. According to Reuters, the game has been installed on over 5% of active Android devices in the U.S. Its more popular than Tinder and has a larger daily active user population than Twitter.
Nintendo also gets to enjoy the results of Pokemon Go, the company’s stock price rose bringing its total market cap to $28 billion. The game has added $9B to Nintendo’s value and its still too early to see the entire value of the game.
Pokemon Go was developed by Niantic Labs in collaboration with The Pokemon Company, which Nintendo owns 32% of, according to WSJ.
The game has only been available in the US, Australia, and New Zealand, until today. The game will also be available in Japan, Europe, UK, and a few other Asian countries, according to The Wall Street Journal.
While the game may be free there are micro-transactions, which nowadays is a common trend in free and non free games, though personally I haven’t had the need to purchase anything as of yet.
The game has been a huge success, though it might not stay that way. With the need to be on the go to play that alone might turn off some players or it could start a whole new way to playing games. Though Niantic Labs has plans for new features such as a trading system and AR. Games are already being built for virtual reality and I can foresee Pokemon on VR, though this particular kind of game play and interaction with the real world may flow over to different games, so be ready to see all kinds of games with a similar game play style.