Pokemon Go was the massive fad of 2016. Released in June, Pokemon Go is an augmented reality game that let millennials relive their childhoods, and sparked the interest of other generations to catch Pokemon in the open. Parks were filled with people at all hours playing this fad game.
Since then it has a massive downfall, in part due to poor communication from the Niantic developers when issues such as the Pokemon tracking system no longer working and server problems that meant thousands of people couldn’t log on – largely because of a massive uptake in users that was not expected.
Niantic have continued to try to tempt its initial fanbase back with special events with additional XP and increased rates of Pokemon spawns like Pikachu in a Santa hat, or ghost types over Halloween. These lures haven’t addressed the fact that Pokemon Go was a great idea poorly executed. The released game was two dimensional, lacking in battling between users and other features that should have been included. Grinding the Pidgeys and Zubats got incredibly boring after a month.
I really enjoyed Pokemon Go at it’s height, and maybe a few weeks into when it stopped being cool. I liked the idea that it got people out and about, interacting in real life again – in late December, Pokemon Go players had walked a combined 8.7 Billion (that’s a b not an m – billion) kilometres. That’s fucking nuts.
What’s the future for augmented reality gaming? There aren’t many ideas that I can think of that go so perfectly hand in hand as augmented reality and Pokemon. I’d like to think there will be another game that captures the hearts and minds of so many people that involves using the world around us.