Developed by Niantic in collaboration with The Pokémon Company, a consortium of Nintendo, Game Freak, and Creatures, with equal copyright shares for each of the three companies, the Pokémon GO is a brilliant concept and has become increasingly popular among gamers, and businesses that are fortunate enough to benefit from it.
Initially released on July 7, 2016, the response has been simply awesome, in that, Nintendo’s share price upped by 10 percent and by July 14, the Nintendo shares had skyrocketed by a whopping 50 percent.
In spite of the fact that Nintendo has only a 33 percent share in the Pokémon franchise, it is, by the way, the sole owner of the trademark. Nintendo’s market net worth shot up by an incredible $9 billion just five days into the release of the game.
The free-to-play game involves real life locations with augmented reality incorporated into the game technology. The game is compatible with iOS, Android, and Apple Watch platforms and it allows the player to establish a game account, and create and customize his own avatar which is then displayed on a map based on the player’s real geographical location.
The player can walk up to actual locations called PokéStops and Pokémon gyms displayed on the map on whichever platform the player is using, to get items and collect Pokémons that pop up on the player’s route and gain XP (Experience Points).
These points are earned by using the collected Pokémons to achieve certain goals like taking over real-world objectives called Gyms from other players. It’s like a mobile treasure hunting app and the main wow factor of the Pokémon GO is being out there in the real world and finding numerous people who are able to see the same augmented reality that you do.
With the Pokémon GO, one can just step out into the real world to locate and capture wild Pokémon. While the player is exploring new locations, the mobile device vibrates to alert him/her that a Pokémon is in the vicinity. Once you get to see the Pokémon just take aim on your smartphone screen and throw a Pokéball to catch the elusive Pokémon as it has the ability to dodge you and disappear – the throwing of the Pokéball involves a swipe action on the player’s smartphone screen.
To put simply, the game has the ability to let the player capture, battle, train, and trade virtual Pokémon which are located throughout the world. There are different Pokémon species residing in different real life locations in the world.
On encountering a Pokémon, the player has the twin option of either seeing it in the augmented reality mode or with a live background. The augmented reality is possible because of the camera and gyroscope on the player’s handheld device.
Once a Pokémon has been captured it becomes the player’s possession – the success in capturing a Pokémon depends on factors like correct timing, force and the type of Pokéball used.
On the successful capture of an unconquered Pokémon, the player is given two types of currencies referred to as candies and stardust. These currencies can be used by the player to enhance a Pokémon’s “combat power” or CP, in the game terminology.
The player continues to amass experience points (XPs) for his game activities and rises in level as more and more XPs are earned. On reaching level five the player becomes proficient enough to battle Pokémon gyms and subsequently earns the right to join one of the three factions in the Pokémon GO community, named Team Valor (red colour code), Team Mystic (blue) or Team Instinct which has a yellow colour code.
On entering a Pokémon gym controlled by a player from another team, the player can engage the gym leader in combat to lower his gym prestige and try to bring it down to level zero so that he can take over the gym and place one of his own Pokémons in it to defend it.
On December 13, 2016, new Pokémons were introduced to make the game more interesting and exciting – the second generation Pokémons include Pichu, Togepi, Cleffa, Magby, Igglybuff, Tyrogue, Elekid, Smoochum and the Santa Pikachu.
Looking ahead to the festive season with Christmas and New Year just days away, Pokémon GO fans are going to have a blast – Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in advance guys!