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What Happened to Pokémon Go?

The year is 2016. You and you friends put on your shoes, grab your phone and head out for the hunt. The beasts you are searching for… Pokémon. Pokémon Go changed the way people thought about video games forever. This was the first highly popular game that gave players the opportunity to use virtual reality in order to get closer to their favorite Pokémon.

Pokemon Go
Courtesy of Niantic

Players would walk around while looking at a virtual world through their phone and every once in a while, a Pokemon would appear, allowing the player to capture it and then later use it to battle other players. There were also special places surrounding popular parts of town that would be hotspots for finding rare Pokémon. The game was a gigantic success and took over the world for a little while.

This is not to say that the game did not come without any issues. With it being controlled directly from players phones, it immediately started distracting players while they were driving, as they realized they were able to capture more Pokémon and progress faster in the game if they were driving. According to an analysis, the game caused over 250 traffic deaths in the first 150 days it came to the United States.

There were also instances of people using highly common Pokémon spots in order to wait there and rob players who would try and go there. This is a perfect example of why we can’t have nice things. This made the public feel less safe about the game and it quickly became a game that parents would make sure their children were being safe on. This is a problem with games that attract both little kids and adults, sometimes the adults take it over and the magic is ruined for everyone else.

Even with these controversies, the app still was the most popular game for a while. But soon, people became tired, and the game slowly fell out of recognition. In fact, I haven’t even thought of Pokémon Go for years and had no idea if it was even still a playable game. So, after doing some research, I found out what has been going on with the game since I stopped playing.

The current look of Pokemon Go. Courtesy of Niantic

Currently, the game is still playable and, to my surprise, still has a lot of players. The makers of the game continue to add updates and new features in order to keep players interested and entertained. New Pokémon, new locations, and even new battle tools have been added over the years. The game also continues to hold events for holidays and other special occasions where players can join the party and celebrate with their other players. This brings up the question: how long can this game last? To be honest with you, I don’t have that answer. The game continues to survive and bring in players and with continued updates I could see the game lasting a long time.

One thing I can say is that I feel bad that I really gave up on this game when it started to become less popular. I went with what everyone else was doing and stopped playing it because it wasn’t the “cool” thing to do anymore. I will be the first person to admit that I regret it. So be on the lookout for me putting on my shoes, tying my laces and heading back out there to find some Pokémon, just like the good old days.

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