Is Pokémon Go Still a Thing?


Remember Pokémon Go? It was that virtual Pokémon game where players can walk basically anywhere and make a few swipes on your phone to catch Pokémon. This game even broke news headlines due to illegal trespassing to catch a rare Blastoise or Snorlax. Practically everyone fell into the trend, but what has happened since then?

Back in July 2016, Pokémon Go launched and quickly became a huge sensation. Within the first two weeks of its release, it has gained well over 100 million users, making it one of the most downloaded apps in the world. But as the months went by, the game slowly lost its flare and the fad quickly blew over.

Millions of users quickly left the trend behind by the start of 2017, due to the huge limitations on variety in the game. The app promoted physical exercise by going out more and traveling certain distances to hatch eggs. Certain mechanics engineered in the app did not allow for the user or to travel while driving; in fact, speeds were limited to 15 mph to count.

“I thought the egg idea was really cool and I ran a lot during that time for eggs,” said Jerry Shi ‘21. “I stopped because I didn’t have time to keep running around my neighborhood looking for Pokémon.”

In addition to this fault, there were only 150 Pokémon and the game started to get boring after a load of repetition. With only a limited selection of Pokémon, the interface between the user and device began to incline. There was absolutely no interaction with other players like previous Pokémon games. 

“I stopped playing because there was no attainable goal and it became really glitchy,” said Josh Berns ‘21. “It became really repetitive and quickly got boring.”

However, true Poké fans stuck around awaiting the updates that would soon improve the game. 

In September 2016, Nintendo introduced the Buddy System. This would allow for a trainer to pick a single Pokémon to act as their partner to walk around and travel with. Each type of Pokémon, depending on rarity, has a set distance to walk in order to gain a candy (the material used to upgrade the Pokémon).

My favorite [Pokémon] is Snorlax because he’s cute,” said Shi. “I even have an Airpod case of Snorlax.”

Like the original games and anime, trading came into the game in June 2018. This allowed players to interact with their friends to trade various Pokémon that they have come across.

Finally, in December of 2018, Nintendo released the real–time capability to fight friends using all the Pokémon caught.

As Pokémon Go continued to update along the way, more generations [new region in the Pokémon universe] of Pokémon have been added, raising the number of Pokémon available from 150 to 490 Pokémon, including the mystical Legendaries that were once nonexistent. 

On June 16, 2019, Nintendo released the fifth generation of Pokémon, the Unova region. Although this game had to go through many updates to become a consistent and fun game, Nintendo continues to further work on the game and its features.