THE OVERNIGHT GAMING SENSATION POKEMON GO

Gaming Maac Chowringhee

Gaming series Pokémon, short for Pocket Monsters, started off in 1989-90 as an idea. The idea was conceptualized by video game designer, Satoshi Tajiri.

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As a child, Tajiri enjoyed insect collecting as a hobby.

He used to live in Machida, Tokyo when the place still maintained rural geography.

As development and urbanisation took over, natural landscape was paved over and resulted in a loss of insect habitats.

Tajiri wanted the animation game to enable the children to experience the lost hobby of insect catching, collecting while exploring the world around.

The main character in the original gaming series, Ash Ketchum is Tajiri’s virtual image as a child.

During the designing, real world animals were taken and modified in physical features and colour to maintain familiarity with the world.

Every Pokémon animated series, games and comics have the same underlying themes of collecting, capturing, training and competing.

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The main animation gaming characters of the animated series include Ash Ketchum, Pikachu, Misty, Brock and Professor Samuel Oak.

Misty and Brock were replaced by May, Max, and Tracey in the successive generations.

Other constant characters include James, Meowth, and Jessie from Team Rocket. Pokémon GO as a game does not bring back the main human characters.

Instead, they bring Professor Willow to help you with introduction and tutorials.

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Games
There have been a number of gaming right off from the Game Boy days in Japan with Pocket Monsters Red and Green.

On account of the popularity of the game, the company made A Pokemon Red and Blue for the international gaming release.

Subsequently, the game was released in the USA on September 30, 1998.

The second animation gaming series was a largely enhanced version called Pokémon Yellow: Special Pikachu Edition.

Both these animation gaming comprised the first generation of Pokémon.

The second generation gaming began with Pokémon Gold and Silver for the Game Boy Color in 1999.

Later an enhanced version was introduced called Pokémon Crystal.

The third generation gaming started with Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire for Game Boy Advance followed by an enhanced Pokémon Emerald.

The fourth generation started off with Pokémon Diamond and Pearl for Nintendo DS followed by the enhanced Pokémon Platinum.

The fifth generation of the games began with Pokémon Black and White in 2010.

The game used Nintendo DS’s 3-D capabilities and was followed by sequels, Pokémon Black 2 and Pokémon White 2.

The sixth generation animation launched on Nintendo 3DS was Pokémon X and Y.

The seventh generation game, Pokémon Sun and Moon was launched on the 20th anniversary of the franchise and was made available worldwide on November 18, 2016.

Niantic

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Pokémon GO is not made by Nintendo as the history may lead you to believe but instead the game is made by a company called ‘Niantic.’

The company was founded by John Hanke, who started Keyhole in 2000 to combine maps with aerial photography.

Google acquired Keyhole and Hanke later helped make Google Earth, Google Maps and Google Street View.

He later launched Niantic Labs and explained the name “The Niantic is the name of a whaling ship that came up during the gold rush and through a variety of circumstances got dragged on shore.

This happened with other ships, too. Over the years, San Francisco was basically just built over these ships.

You could stand on top of them now, and you wouldn’t know it.

So it’s this idea that there’s stuff about the world that’s really cool but even though it’s on the Internet, it’s hard to know when you’re actually there.”

Ingress
The first breakthrough for the company came in the form of Ingress in 2010.

Ingress combined gaming world with the real world and made users (gamers) get out and explore to play the game.

Hanke further explained “In the case of Ingress the activity is layered on top of the real world and your phone.

While I was commuting back and forth from home to Google, it was something that I always used to daydream about.”

“I always thought you could make an awesome game using all the physical data that we have. I watched phones become more and more powerful, and I thought the time would come that you could do a really awesome real-world adventure-based gaming.”

April Fools Prank
The entire idea for the raging app started off from a prank in 2014.

Google and the Pokémon Company teamed to make the April Fool’s Day joke where users could see Pokémon on Google Maps.

The popularity of the idea gave Hanke the idea that this app can be turned into a real animation game.

Work on Pokémon Go
He started the work on the data already collected by Ingress where users submitted the map locations of their meeting points.

Using the Ingress data gave the development of Pokémon GO a huge boost.

The boost translated in the animation gaming series being pre-populated with important meeting points, instead of making the populated map from scratch after collecting all the data from users.

John raised $25 million from Google, Nintendo, and the Pokémon company and later launched the game on July 6, 2016.

Pokémon Go App

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Since its launch the app has overtaken Tinder in the number of users playing the game.

The company Niantic has launched a minor update from the initial launch version 0.29 to 0.29.2 to fix the privacy concerns raised by the app.

Though there is no official change log for the changes done in the update by the company.

The game was initially launched in Australia and Canada and later rolled out in the USA.

At the time of writing the game has rolled out in Germany and is set to roll out in Europe.

Even though the staged and limited rollout has not stopped the gamers from downloading the game and side loading it on their Android devices or install in on their IOS devices through outer methods.

The game has completely changed the way people interact and play games within a period of just eight days. People are conducting Poke walks in cities and meeting complete strangers.

People have claimed to discover a lot more about their cities because of the game despite living there for years.

Snapchat had a dedicated featured stories section for Pokémon GO gaming series.

The popularity is such that Pokémon GO servers are taking a huge hit. It becomes way more difficult to play the game at night than during the day.

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Pokémon GO is making $1.6 million from the in-app purchases of virtual goods every day as reported by Quartz.

The app took a record 14 hours to top the list of most grossing gaming apps in App Store.

It is only second to HBO Now in the time it took to become the top grossing app.

Even though HBO Now users were automatically billed after their trails ended, so that was not fair.

According to the app analytics company SensorTower on TechCrunch, Pokémon GO has crossed 7.5 million downloads on Google Play and IOS App Store in the USA.

It is leaping beyond WhatsApp every day.

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