Pokémon Go took over the world one year ago today
It has now been one year since Pokémon Go was released onto the App Store in both Australia and North America and it’s been a crazy ride.
Niantic, the developers of the game were caught so unaware about its success that the game didn’t work properly for weeks, the release of the game was delayed, and features like Raids have only just been added as the roadmap was pushed back. In the early days, there were times when ‘the Americans were awake’ that would cripple the game for us in Australia and vice versa. Luckily that’s all been sorted.
For weeks and then into months there would be hives of activity all around the world where Pokemon gathered, trainers would rush over when a rare Snorlax or Chansey spawned, people complained when their local neighbourhood would get overrun, and stores turned the game into marketing opportunities before sponsored PokéStops were even a thing.
Pokémon Go has brought people together, made new friendships (and rivalries), it’s got people outside, walking, exploring and exercising. Every weekend for a month, at least for this writer, was consumed with Pokemon Go; we’d travel hours to hotspots and join hundreds of other trainers. Each city seems to have one, ours was Kings Park in Perth. They had to block off parking, chain off lawns because it was getting destroyed.
What about the effect the game has had on Nintendo as well? Despite not actually making the game, their share price soared, when investors figured it out it dropped off just a little. Pokémon Sun and Moon were released and have sold millions, but more importantly, Nintendo saw a year-on-year rise in sales for older Pokémon games and Nintendo 3DS hardware.
Tonight I drove 15 minutes to a gym for a Pokémon raid. It had an Alakazam, the last Pokémon I needed to complete my Generation 1 Pokédex. It took me a year but I did it, guess I have another year to do the next generation?
How much did you get into Pokemon GO, do you have any crazy stories to tell? The big question – are you still playing it?