pokemon go

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

The MOP Up: ARK's console editions get a hair-do (March 26, 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 Destiny, Eternal CrusadeElder Scrolls LegendsHearthstonePokemon GoMU LegendLineage IIARKUltima OnlineSword of ShadowsGhost Recon WildlandsRagnarok OnlineHeroes and GeneralsElsword, and Dota 2, all waiting for you after the break!

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The MOP Up: Kali awakens in Dragon Nest (March 19, 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 Pokemon GoConan ExilesWarframeCrash ForceHeroes of the StormArmored WarfareElder Scrolls OnlineTERAAvabel OnlineOverwatchAionGlory RidgeDragon Nest, all waiting for you after the break!

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Japan and the US led mobile app sales in 2016

We're number one! No, actually, we're number two. And it's in mobile sales. Dammit.

That's according to AppAnnie, which on Friday released its 2016 rankings of mobile app publishes across the world. Japan and the US led the pack, followed by China, though it's China's Tencent that topped the publisher list itself thanks to its purchase of Clash of Clans dev Supercell last year.

"Year over year we see that Asian-Pacific publishers dominate the Top 52. This year was no exception, with 30 of the top publishers hailing from that region. But when we look at the country breakdown, it’s clear that the United States and Japan are producing some of the most influential and successful publishers."

US-based Activision-Blizzard is the fifth highest-revenue publisher on the list (thanks, Candy Crush and Hearthstone). Niantic, the dev behind last year's breakout Pokemon Go, comes in 10th place, ahead of Square Enix, Electronic Arts, and Sony.

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The MOP Up: MMOs make math fun (March 5, 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 FortniteWar ThunderArmored WarfareNeverwinterMabinogi DuelPokemon GoProdigyGuild Wars 2HellionIngressOld School RuneScapeWildStarDota 2, and Final Fantasy XIV, all waiting for you after the break!

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Pokemon Go: Japan's snorlax event, gyms, PvP, and trading

Despite what I may think, Niantic is still calling Pokemon GO an MMO at GDC 2017.

Senior Product Manager Tatsuo Nomura referred to it as one while speaking with Polygon. Nomura also mentions that that when it launches, trading "won't be through the internet," and that while online trading might be seen by some as a way to potentially help rural players, the developers' goal is more about potential distribution for regional Pokemon (such as North American Tauros or South American Heracross). You'll need to be in close proximity to your trading partner, though don't expect it until at least later this year, as the company is worried it may kill the game. The team is trying to improve the gameplay experience for rurals still, but no specifics were given.

Perhaps this is partially why company president John Hanke discussed the gym situation with Wired, and yes, Hanke mentions attempts to combat spoofers. Translations note that an overhaul of the gym system is the team's "next step," wanting to get more people into the gym scene and to have gyms focus on teamwork. Supposedly, legendaries will also be available later this year, as will player vs. player battles.

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Niantic cracks down on third-party sales in Ingress

Stop cheating, you cheating cheaters, or else we're gonna take your stuff.

That's the gist of the message out of Niantic this week to Ingress players. The studio perhaps better known for thwarting cheaters in its other ARG, Pokemon Go, isn't taking any crap from its sci-fi players either and is cracking down on third-party trading.

"We will be sending warnings to anyone who received items that can be traced back to a third-party seller. In the future, we will remove items from the game that were purchased from unauthorized sellers. This means that any items purchased through third-party websites or services will disappear from inventories - even if these items were passed to other players unknowingly."

Here's a peek at the letter sent to miscreants -- and to their unwitting victims, as it appears simply acquiring anything that passed through such a vendor's hands will also be deleted:

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Shooter denied bond in Virginia Pokemon Go murder case

Back in January, we reported on the tragic case of Jiansheng Chen, a 60-year-old Virginia resident who was playing Pokemon Go in his family's Chesapeake neighborhood when he was shot and killed by what was supposed to be an unarmed security guard.

More details have since come to light, as reported by local news. The shooter, a 21-year-old man named Johnathan Cromwell, has been charged with second degree murder and use of a firearm and was denied bond by the judge this week. State attorneys allege that Cromwell "confronted" Chen while Chen was seated in his car parked at the neighborhood clubhouse, a known Pokemon Go gym. Cromwell allegedly positioned his vehicle in front of Chen's, exited his car, yelled stop, fired one bullet into the car at Chen, then moved to the other side of the vehicle and fired seven more, hitting the elderly man, who was of Chinese descent and spoke little English, a total of five times.

Cromwell's lawyers assert that their client acted in self-defense and that Chen had previously been asked to stay away from the neighborhood clubhouse after dark.

Source: WTKR

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Pokemon Go: 650M downloads, update cadence, and Ingress 2.0

There's lots going on with Pokemon Go right now, thanks in part to the official Pokemon Day that kicked off the week. Here's a quick look:

  • This week through March 6th, players can find special birthday-hat-bedecked Pikachu, which you must definitely go get because, um, birthday-hat-bedecked Pikachu.
  • Niantic CTO Phil Keslin told GDC-goers that Pokemon Go has now been downloaded 650 million times globally -- the first 500 million downloads of which were within the first two months of the game's launch last summer.
  • Niantic CEO John Hanke told interviewers at the Mobile World Conference that POGO is due to receive three more major updates this year, one each quarter. Presumably, Gen 2 counts for quarter one.

As part of the same interview, Hanke basically announced Ingress 2.0: "I can announce that there will be Ingress 2.0, and that it'll come out at the end of this year. It will be a totally new version, something very important for the current players of Ingress, but for the new ones too. We've already got other projects, but unfortunately I can't talk about them."

Source: Official site, Gamasutra, Reddit. Cheers, Nordavind!

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ARK: Survival Evolved rockets up Superdata's January revenue rankings

The latest Superdata Research report is in for the month of January 2017, and in addition to an increase of 9.8% of digital game sales, several online titles are sitting comfortably in the top 10.

One notable entry is the rise of ARK: Survival Evolved in the console chart to the number four spot. "Launching on PS4 in December, the game is an unusual standout on the AAA-publisher-heavy top 10 console list," the report noted. "In January, the game continued a rise as it becomes popular on the latest generation of platforms and took the number 4 slot, ahead of titles like Battlefield 1."

League of Legends, Dungeon Fighter Online, Overwatch, Lineage, Destiny, and Pokemon Go all made expected showings. World of Warcraft is also on the list, but twice, as the game's sales are being split between "west" and "east." That seem a little unfair to anyone else? You can check out the full chart after the break.

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The Daily Grind: Is an MMO still an MMO if it lacks chat?

In the comments of Andrew's last Soapbox on whether or not Pokemon Go properly constitutes an MMO, veteran MMORPG designer Raph Koster argued provocatively against our writer's statement that an MMO without a communication system (text, symbolic, or gestural) is no MMO at all.

"I don't think an in-game communication system is a requirement for an MMO, or a virtual world either," Koster wrote. "Consider an MMO where no one has chat because The Silence has fallen across the world. But everything else you are used to is the same... you'd still call it an MMO, wouldn't you?"

I'm not sure. I am sure that the very first thing we'd all do is pile into chat and voice channels and Kickstart a chat plugin, not unlike the way everyone piled into ICQ and IRC back in the '90s when confronted with online games sans global chat. People complain endlessly about not being able to chat even with enemies in faction-based games like WoW. Communication seems pretty critical to me, more than any other feature, miles ahead of combat, trade, or graphical avatars. Maybe it'd still be an MMO, but a very broken, incomplete one.

What do you think? Is an MMO still an MMO if it lacks chat?

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The Soapbox: Pokemon Go Generation 2 still isn't a real MMO

Pokemon GO Generation 2 is out now, and it feels a lot like an MMO expansion in a lot of ways: We have new features, we have new grinding mechanics, and (of course) the combat system's been overhauled (twice, with the original change making dodging useless, the second possibly fixing the situation).

On the one hand, I'm excited as a Pokemon fan, especially since it's a free update. On the other hand, I'm starting to think that Raph Koster's famous comments on AR games being MMOs might be a bit off, at least in terms of POGO.
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Pokemon Go adds the second generation of pokemon to the game

It's time for you to go out and catch some Gen 2 starters and maybe a Wooper or a Miltank. The second generation of pocket monsters has been added to Pokémon Go, with those players still wandering the street compiling a helpful rundown of all possible information on these new critters. They might be hard to track down, but at least it's not yet another Pidgey.

The addition also brings changes to many of the Generation 1 monsters, with attacks being altered or rebalanced for more engaging battles. Meanwhile, some fans are already clamoring for Generation 3 to get added into the game, because no one is ever satisfied. Plus, of course, the official games are already up to Generation 7, so there's some way to go before this game has caught up.

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Pokemon Go expands with 80 new critters, but the old tracker is never comin' back

Pokemon Go players -- there's still a few of you out there, right? -- are in for a treat this week as the game patches up with over 80 new pokemon.

"These include Pokémon originally discovered in the Johto region from the Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver video games, including Chikorita, Cyndaquil, and Totodile. Trainers will encounter these Pokémon “in the wild” as they embark on adventures and explore their neighborhoods and cities to catch Pokémon. In addition to Pokémon that will appear in the game for the first time, the latest update introduces new gameplay mechanics for Trainers to master, including new encounter gameplay, new Evolution items, two new Berries, and expanded outfit and accessory options for their Trainer avatars."

Meanwhile, Niantic's John Hanke has been touring the mainstream gaming media over the past few weeks discussing Pokemon Go's successes -- and missteps. And in a recent interview with Vice's Waypoint subgroup, he talks about the rollercoaster-like ride of the game for the studio, which doesn't regret launching the game before many of its key features were finished -- the "hysteria" was worth it.

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