Pokemon Go Still Going?

Has Pokemon Go fever succumbed to being just another summer fad?


Tasnim (Zara) Kabir

Students bring their DS systems and battle against each other during Pokemon Appreciation Club.

Summer 2016 can officially be put down as the summer that millennials left their rooms and voluntarily ventured out. They socialized, moved about, and most likely spent more consecutive hours outside happily than their reputation ever would have indicated.

What was so powerful as to draw the habitual home dweller out of its slumber and into the wild? Ironically, it was their smartphones. Stepping out with the newly released Pokémon Go app in their hands, amatuer Pokémon trainers everywhere hoped to make it big and “catch ‘em all.”

What was so powerful as to draw the habitual home dweller out of its slumber and into the wild?

In reality, many were still glued on to their phones, causing accidents and scorn from baby boomers and anyone who simply could not comprehend the appeal of ‘catching imaginary monsters.’

Others claimed that the app would lose its popularity, falling in line behind other app fads such as Angry Birds, Flappy Bird, and Trivia Crack. Most popular apps leave the scene as fast as they appear, and do not last longer than a few months. Would the power of Pokémon be strong enough to keep trainers battling months later?

Niantic, the developers behind the smash hit app have responded to questions on how they hope to maintain a more stable player count. “We’ve launched the first generation of Pokémon, 150 or so. There are over 700 Pokémon in the Pokémon universe. It’s always been the intent to gradually introduce more Pokémon into the experience over time. It’s a natural way to keep the game fresh. Some Pokémon are highly coveted and people are going to be really excited when they show up in the game.”

But, what was the game’s true catch factor? Why did it blow up like it did? Bronx Science’s Pokémon Appreciation Club Vice President Paul Cho ’18 said that it, “clicked for so many people because Pokémon was a game that everyone (if not the vast majority) has played at least once.”

In terms of current game play, many have suffered the same fate, with their interest in actual active game play diminishing. As Pokémon Appreciation secretary Sk Ayon ’18 said, “it became repetitive and a hassle to play, especially since the level curves are steeper. The game is decent, but it becomes stale after two weeks.”

Pokémon Go has not been as revolutionary either, at least to some. Both Cho and Ayon expressed that the app is much like Niantic’s previously released game, Ingress, which functioned in part just like Pokemon Go. The only difference that could be counted is that the latter reached far more people quicker than Ingress has.

As far as activities within Pokémon Appreciation Club go, President Tabitha Chang ’17 said that, “Sadly, we can’t leave the building for safety reasons, so we won’t be able to play Pokémon Go as an official club activity. However, we do have plans for some weekly missions (which are done outside of the club for points) to involve Pokémon Go. Most likely it will be to catch certain Pokémon.”  

As of publication, Pokémon Go had held the number one spot in the iOS App Store, ceeding to ‘Clash Royale’ on September 20th, 2016, and officially ending its seventy-four day streak at the top (no worries— it is still topping the Android charts).

Niantic continues to put out small updates to the app regularly, adding and fixing features. Players around the world are still awaiting the highly anticipated ‘trading’ feature, which would allow trainers to trade Pokémon with friends, perhaps getting one they could not catch in the wild.

No matter what reports or people say, Pokémon Go is still going strong, with thirty million monthly players across the globe. With the mobile game being one of the biggest cultural phenomenons since Pokemon in the 90’s, there is quite no way this megahit is going anywhere fast but to the top.