pokemon go

Official Site: Pokemon Go
Studio: Niantic
Launch Date: July 6, 2016
Genre: MMOARG
Business Model: F2P (Cash Shop)
Platform: Android, iOS

The Chicago Pokemon Go Fest was sold out in less than a minute

Following the huge reveal of Pokemon Go’s summer content plans — detailed in yesterday’s massive overview and interview by MOP’s Andrew Ross — Niantic followed through on its plan to shutdown all gyms for renovation. Yes, we’re still talking about virtual space here. The gyms will play host to the game’s new gym battle system, which basically brings PvP into the MMOARG and can culminate in epic raid boss fights.

Meanwhile, if you weren’t one of the lucky few who snapped up Pokemon Go Fest tickets for the event in Chicago within the first few seconds of the sale going live, well, there’s always Ebay. As I type this, scalpers are selling tickets on the auction platform for over $300 apiece (they’re selling, too; one is going for $340 at the moment). Maybe a better system for vending tickets might be in order for the next event, yeah?

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E3 2017: Pokemon Go’s raiding, gym revamp, badges, and an interview with Niantic

Surprise! Niantic brought Pokemon Go to E3 2017 and invited members of the gaming press outside the sacred halls of the Los Angeles Convention Center to check out the upcoming raid system at a nearby gym. We were granted not just some juicy details on upcoming changes but a rare chance to interview several key members of the team, including Senior Product Manager Tatsuo Nomura, Global Product Marketing Lead Archit Bhargava, and a bit of time with Niantic Director of Engineering Edward Wu.

Perhaps more so than the Generation 2 update, summer feels like it’s bringing an expansion-like update to the free to play game.

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The MOP Up: EVE Valkyrie lowers its price point (June 11, 2017)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

This week we have stories and videos from MechWarrior OnlineGuild Wars 2EverQuest IICabal OnlineEVE ValkyrieParagonSecond LifeLuna OnlineAtelier OnlineFinal Fantasy XILegend of Ancient Sword OnlineNo Man’s SkyHeroes of the StormArt of ConquestDreadnoughtOverwatchSINoALICEBlade and SoulPokemon Go, and Eternal Crusade, all waiting for you after the break!

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Massively Overthinking: MMO monetization run amok

Over the last couple of weeks, the monetization of unreleased games has become a pervasive and uncomfortable theme for the MMO genre. Just in brief:

The frustrating bit is I could go on, and this is just for games that aren’t even formally launched yet. So for this week’s Massively Overthinking, I want to take the temperature of alarm regarding these types of business models for unlaunched games. Is this all par for the course, in line with what we expect from the new MMO market? Have they gone too far yet? If not, what’s too far? How do we feel about this type of pre-launch monetization run amok?

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Pokemon Go Fest unleashes summer events in the US, Europe, and Japan

Can you believe Pokemon Go is almost a year old? Remember back when there was so much PoGo news that we gave up and went to a daily roundup of all the nonsense and vandalism and accidents and lawsuits and government security freakouts? Good times, good times. Niantic also remembers and is ramping up to celebratory summer events — plural. If you still play, here’s what you’re looking at during Pokemon Go Fest:

  • There’s a Pokemon Go celebration in Chicago’s Grant Park on June 19th. (You have to buy tickets, note.) The studio says other US cities may get their own version of this meet-and-greet.
  • Unibail-Rodamco shopping centers across Europe will play host to multiple celebrations over the next four months. No details yet.
  • Yokohama, Japan, will suffer a “Pikachu Outbreak,” which sounds scary but is said to be a “unique experience.”
  • Finally, everyone can take part in the Solstice Event:

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Massively Overthinking: 2017’s MMORPG zeitgeist

This time last year, I polled the Massively OP writers for their opinions on which MMOs had had the best year, or half year, up to that point in 2016 — which games were the most influential and important specifically in that time period. I was pretty surprised at the spread of answers too. Since we’re nearing the midpoint of 2017, I thought we should renew that question and see whether anything’s changed. So as last time, I’m asking everyone to pick three games that represent the MMORPG zeitgeist, using whatever combination of criteria they wish – revenue, playerbase size, hype, anticipation, update cycle, and so forth. What should we be paying attention to? Which games are a sign of the times? And just who is dominating now in 2017?
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Another study finds Pokemon Go improves players’ physical activity

Yet another academic group has published research suggesting that Pokemon Go can be a useful tool for promoting exercise.

Duke University researchers funded by the American Heart Association studied 167 young adults and found that “Pokemon Go participation was associated with a significant increase in [physical activity].”

“We conducted a retrospective observational study among Pokémon GO players in September 2016 and analyzed their level of PA in terms of step count as reported on the iPhone Health app 3 weeks before and 3 weeks after initiation of Pokémon GO play. Specifically, we sought to compare changes in PA level before and after playing Pokémon GO and whether such changes differ by age, sex, baseline PA level, body mass index, and level of engagement in the game. The latter included a subjective measure of self‐reported playing time as well as an objective measure of game progression indicating players’ level of engagement.”

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SuperData April 2017: Smooth sailing for World of Warcraft, Overwatch, and Hearthstone

SuperData’s April worldwide digital video games market summary has arrived, and with it we get a glimpse into the top gaming studios. And only the tippy top.

Irritatingly, World of Warcraft has once again been split into east and west, contrary to every other game on the chart. SuperData had split the game for its January report, botched the entries in February and hastily repaired its graphic to rejoin the two, and for March, the WoWs were one from the get-go. Now they’re two again.

The upside for WoW is that its western branch pulled out ahead of World of Tanks in terms of revenue (Tanks was beating a combined WoW last month). Dungeon Fighter Online and New Westward Journey Online II have swapped positions, while the addition of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (and separated WoWs) has pushed Lineage I and Wildlands out of the top 10 entirely. Wildlands dropped down the console list as well; ARK Survival Evolved and Mass Effect Andromeda have dropped from the console chart altogether.

On the mobile side, Pokemon Go held steady, but Lineage 2 Revolution continues creeping upward.

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Legendary pokemon are teased for Pokemon Go as a new anti-cheat measure auto-bans bots

Remember how last summer was all about Pokémon Go? That’s probably not going to happen again this year, but the team behind the game at Niantic is certainly hoping for something similar with the promise that the summer will be legendary. That certainly alludes to a bunch of legendary Pokémon wandering the world, so if you’ve long been hoping for a Zapdos you could name “Captain Zappywing,” you might be closer than you thought.

Of course, all of that is only if you’re playing the game legitimately. A new anti-cheat measure is being deployed against botting accounts, and rather than bans, it seems to be flagging accounts in a far more insidious manner. The flagged accounts can still play the game… but all they see are common Pokémon, rather than any of the rarer or more desirable ones. The community on Reddit has worked overtime in analyzing the bans and found very few false positives, making it a welcome boon to those playing the game legitimately.

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The MOP Up: Neverwinter’s green beetle fiasco (May 21, 2017)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

This week we have stories and videos from TERARendTree of SaviorDragon NestNeverwinterArmored WarfareEVE OnlineOverwatchARKWakfuDestiny, and Pokemon Go, all waiting for you after the break!

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University researchers harness Pokemon Go for education

Researchers continue to find new ways to make Pokemon Go dance for science. In a new paper, Iowa State University’s Emily Howell suggests that secondary ed students benefit from replacing traditional classroom tools with more “authentic” tools and situations and communication outlets.

“Anytime teachers can find something that students are already doing, and comes in multimodal form, they can harness that interest and teach students about the tool’s potential,” she explains.

It’s not the first time researchers have used PoGo to serve the educational needs of students; last year, an Arizona State University professor designed a free multi-age-bracket lesson plan that uses the game as a tool to teach cartography, “how to use geospatial technologies and communicate geographic information,” and vocabulary skills for ESL students.

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Russian Pokemon Go player sentenced over blasphemy law

The 22-year-old Russian vlogger convicted of playing Pokemon Go inside a church has been hit with a 3.5-year suspended sentence.

Ruslan Sokolovsky was found “guilty of inciting hatred, violating religious feelings and illegal possession of special technical means – a pen with a video camera” for recording himself playing Pokemon Go on his phone in the Church of All Saints in Yekaterinburg last summer while carrying a piece of crap pencam from whatever the Russian equivalent of SharperImage is. He was detained and charged by authorities when the video of his mundane prank went viral.

“I believe that there is no reason to exempt the defendant from liability,” the Russian prosecutor said last month. “There is also no reason to sentence him to a fine … I request that the court sentence him to three-and-a-half years in a penal colony.” The judge apparently agreed to the max sentence, but ordered it suspended. Sokolovsky has already been sitting in prison for seven months.

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Pokemon Go’s first Knight Foundation event is this weekend in North Carolina

Pokemon Go really wants to get you outside and moving. That’s the gist of its new partnership with the Knight Foundation, through which Niantic hope to

“advance civic engagement in local communities around the United States through augmented reality experiences. This partnership will foster discovery, bring communities together and promote engagement within public spaces by leveraging Niantic experiences and technologies including Ingress and Pokémon GO at select community events supported by The Knight Foundation.”

The first event is actually this Sunday in Charlotte, North Carolina, in cooperation with the city government. Anyone down there and thinking of giving it a looksee?

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