Pokemon Go is quickly approaching its big Pokemon Go Fest event that'll kick off within a week on July 22, but that's only one of the recent Pokemon Go announcements that have brought the game back onto many players' mobile devices.
The massive gym overhaul that changed the way gyms are held and taken brought on a surge of players as well, but even with all of these promising changes, there's still the reoccurring question of "do people still play this game?"
Questions and comments such as the one above are hard not to come across — they pop up almost every time any news breaks about the game. But the answer is yes, people most certainly do still play Pokemon Go slightly over a year after its initial release, and they'll continue to do so. They've got plenty of reasons to keep on that we've dissected here, and with players' support, Pokemon Go doesn't seem to be in any danger of falling out of gamers' favor anytime soon.
When games reach a level of popularity that Pokemon Go did in such a short amount of time, there are bound to be some imitators spawned that will attempt to piggyback on the success of the main game. Pokemon Go was no exception, but even after those attempts to replicate the successful model, there's still no game out there that could come close to touching Pokemon Go in the mobile real-world market.
Pokemon Go followed Ingress, also made by Niantic, so it had a pretty strong foundation to build off of. Couple that with the weight that the Pokemon name carries and you've got an instant recipe for success.
If you want to take a look at what types of other games are trying to build on Pokemon Go's success, there was a series of knock-offs we reported on recently, two of which let you catch virtual boyfriends and girlfriends. These are obviously low-hanging fruit when it comes to picking out games that can't hold a candle to Pokemon Go in the mobile market, but without another big-name competitor coming soon, Pokemon Go is poised to continue its mobile dominance.
Through Pokemon Go's free-to-play download system and an in-app purchasing format that players can use to gain some helpful items, both the numbers of download that the game achieves and the revenue that it brings it keep on growing.
By August in 2016 just barely after the game had been released on mobile devices, it broke the milestone of being downloaded over 100 million times. While the number would naturally rise quickly and taper off after the initial buzz wore off, the number of downloads has continued to grow, passing 750 million unique downloads just this year at the end of June. Just before that number was reported and after the gym update refreshed the game, Pokemon Go once again jumped back into the top five apps in the App Store.
Downloads aside, the Pokemon Go also continues to bring in the big bucks. The U.S. has accounted for over $400 million in revenue just from in-app purchases, and with players constantly needing more room for items and Pokemon, that number will likely continue to grow as well.
After giving Pokemon Go players the chance to catch Generation I Pokemon for the first couple of months that the game was available, more catches were finally added earlier this year when Generation II Pokemon were introduced into the mix. New finds littered the areas around players, possibilities from hatching eggs improved collections grew, and better gym defenders rose in the ranks. And that's just after one added generation.
As any Pokemon fan who has stuck with the games can attest to, likely with a list of which Pokemon they prefer from each generation, there are plenty more Pokemon to be added into the mix. With so many additional Pokemon to be caught as more generations are released into the game, you can expect players to keep coming back to find their favorites.
Pokemon Go Fest is quickly approaching, and with the promise of special events for those players who attend the Chicago festivities and more opportunities for players worldwide, the festival will likely cause many more players to hop back onto the game around next weekend.
When the first details were revealed about Pokemon Go Fest back in June, tickets to the even had already been bought out quickly and resold at insane prices. Even if scalpers did look to buy them up quickly and resell at higher prices, the demand was still high enough to warrant the event's tickets selling out in no time at all.
An anniversary event and the first British Pokemon Go event combined with Pokemon Go Fest make the possibility of future events look extremely promising. Recurring holiday specials and bonuses will also keep players signing on during peak times to cash in on the limited time offers.
Catching Pokemon in the real world, battling and taking over gyms, building a strong collection of Pokemon, and amassing gym badges from various locations are all classic Pokemon features that make up Pokemon Go, but they're not the only ones that are coming.
PvP battles and the ability to trade Pokemon are two of the most often requested features to be added to Pokemon Go, and according to Niantic CEO John Hanke, these options are most definitely still on the table.
Initial success of Pokemon Go caused features such as these to be pushed back, but they're still very much in the works. Gym features aren't at an end either, and more are planned to be added as players get used to the new gym format and look for more battling opportunities.
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