I made my prediction almost two years to the day. As of this evening, at least 25 people have died since the Pokemon Go App’s rolling launch worldwide. In addition, dozens have been injured or become victims of crime because of the App. Just this morning, I read an article about a man in the U.S. who just quit his job so he dedicate his life to the App. It goes without saying Pokemon Go is the most popular AND most downloaded mobile App on both Android and iOS ever. According to Gamespot, Pokemon go has brought in at least $14 Million in microtransactions.
The interesting thing is as of right now, only the first 150 Pokemon–Bulbasaur to Mewtwo–are available. Niantic, the company that developed the App in collaboration with The Pokemon Company (aka Game Freak) has promised Pokemon from other regions will be added in time: Excluding the Pokemon from Sun and Moon we know about, there are 721 Pokemon. I doubt we will see more Pokemon added until after Sun and Moon are released on November 18 of this year. Speakiing of, Nintendo has hinted there may be connectivity between Pokemon Go and the upcoming games. Nintendo has already promised there will be connectivity between the upcoming games and the Virtual Console versions of Red, Blue and Yellow.
With all that out the way, I have taken the time to try the App on my Android phone. My phone is powerful enough to run the App without stability problems but unlike apparently most of those who play it, I don’t walk around with the App running everywhere since I got it (More on this in just a minute). I have also elected not to log in using my official MyPokemon account–yet. I am well aware progress on the Google Account side is non transferrable but I’m waiting for some more major updates before I switch over. I consider myself beta testing the App for the time being.
Now, I live in the city of Boston but I live out in the suburbs. As folks who live in similar areas have said online, it’s obvious the App had urban population centers in mind. To help address this, Gamespot reported earlier today Niantic is giving players the ability to request non-residental locations be made Poke Stops or Gyms. Requests can also be made to remove specific areas that are currently set as Gyms or Poke Stops.
As I said before though, I am not invested in the App like most who’ve downloaded it are. The GPS-dependant aspect of it is not accurate, neither does it update in real time (even though it’s supposed to). I gave the App a really good road test yesterday while I was in Boston’s Chinatown and in Copley Square areas. I often had to relauch the App and in some cases reboot my phone to move the on-screen avatar when I was clearly standing on top of a Poke Stop location.
I get the App has only been live for a few days and several hundred million people worldwide are using it. I don’t mind waiting for the stability fizes it sorely needs. Even after things become stable, I’m not gonna be like most people who use the App. Sure, I’ll use it while I’m out and about but I’m not not into the whole “go to places I normally wouldn’t go” thing I keep hearing about in the news and social media.
On that note, I have a much bigger problem Niantic made an emergency update to address: Privacy. Given the App utilizes a smartphone’s GPS software to triangulate your positition, what’s to say a hacker, hacking ring or third party company doesn’t use the App track a person’s movements in real time? I always find it interesting conspiracy theorists worry about the government watching them but they don’t have a problem trusting complete strangers with their personal information. It’s for this reason I only use the App for a few minutes at a time and I close the App when I’m not actively using it. It’s a resource hog so no, it’s not running when I’m home or overnight.
…Make no mistake: Pokemon Go is here to stay. Possible cross-game functions with Sun and Moon have me intrigued. That aside, I won’t invest alot of time in it. I can think of too many other things I want to do instead. The one thing I will give this App credit for is introducing millions to Pokemon for the first time. While most are vets of the franchise, there are many who are getting a taste of what I have known for 20 years: Pokemon is awesome.