pokemon go

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

MMOARG dev sues Milwaukee county over Pokemon Go-inspired park ordinance

Remember back in February when Milwaukee County in Wisconsin tried to handle the whole “Pokemon Go players are destroying parks and costing municipalities cash money to repair them” ordeal by requiring game developers, including Niantic, to acquire permits before implementing games within the park?

Agumented reality developer Candy Lab AR (of Texas Rope’ Em fame) plans to fight that ordinance. The studio has filed a lawsuit against the county in the US district court for Eastern Wisconsin, alleging that the ordinance violates and restricts the company’s “right to free speech” via regulation, is “unconstitutionally vague,” and holds companies legally and financially responsible for the actions of players on park lands, the last of which Candy Lab says would be “financially prohibitive.”

The county created the ordinance following destruction to the park by Pokemon Go players last year; it appears to require ARG devs to follow the same rules as geocachers when developing game nodes within the park. That boils down to purchasing a permit and carrying $1,000,000 in liability insurance for damages resulting from its players’ park use.

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Pokemon Go interview appears to confirm gym raids this summer

Just a week ago, Niantic told Pokemon Go players that “all new cooperative social gameplay experiences” were on the way, which led to speculation — backed up by datamining — that the content was gym raids. Now a Japanese blog has an interview out appearing to confirm that rumor.

K-Tai Watch spoke to Niantic’s Yoshiji Kawashima and Kenji Suka, who confirmed that a “huge” event “unlike anything we’ve seen so far” is coming this summer, complete with brand-new mechanics to support it. Pokemon Go Hub, which translated the interview from Japanese to English, says that “PvP, Trading and Raids are in development, but the release dates for these features are not yet finalised” and reiterated that “Niantic confirmed that cooperative gameplay is coming this spring.”

“I hope you are looking forward to this huge event this summer,” Kawashima is quoted as saying (translated to English). “Please look forward to it. Engineers are working hard now so that new functions can be implemented.”

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Study claims playing Pokemon Go is associated with happiness attributes

A research team from the University of Wisconsin–Madison has a paper out this month purporting to show that Pokemon Go play essentially makes people happier, or more specifically, is associated with being happy. Having surveyed 399 US adults last summer, the team concludes that playing the game “was associated with various positive responses (increased positive affect, nostalgic reverie, friendship formation, friendship intensification, and walking), most of which predicted enhanced well-being” and that “two indirect effects of gameplay were moderated by social anxiety.”

According to the University, the researchers asked

“questions about [subjects’] emotional and social lives and levels of physical activity before segueing into Pokemon. More than 40 percent of their respondents turned out to be Pokemon Go players, and those people were more likely to be exercising — walking briskly, at least — and more likely to be experiencing positive emotions and nostalgia. […] They were also more social. Players were more likely than nonplayers to be making new friends and deepening old friendships.”

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Pokemon Go counts 65M players, plans gym raids and co-op gameplay

Niantic’s latest Pokemon Go post might seem like a mundane thank-you note for all its many awards, but there are two bits buried within worth noting. The first revolves around the game’s stats, and the second suggests improvements to gameplay.

“We continue to be inspired by the passion of the 65+ million people from around the world playing Pokémon GO each month. We’re still at the beginning of the journey and there’s a lot more to come. With spring arriving in the northern hemisphere, players can look forward to all new cooperative social gameplay experiences in Pokémon GO that will give Trainers new and exciting reasons to get back into the sunshine.”

Niantic is counting 65M players, which adds to the perspective we already had that the game has been downloaded 650M times and made a billion bucks. Earlier this month, we reported on a ComScore data release that suggested the game has fallen from its peak of 28.5M daily users to 5M.

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The MOP Up: Scorpio’s doomsday device (April 9, 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 GoDCUOPortal KnightsEscape from TarkovFinal Fantasy XILOTROWorld of TanksStar Trek OnlineArmored WarfareTree of SaviorPath of Exile, and Worlds Adrift, all waiting for you after the break!

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U.S. district court hears Pokemon Go trespassing lawsuit

Last summer when Pokemon Go took off, so did the lawsuits from property owners who claimed Niantic was effectively encouraging players to illegally trespass on their land. We covered two such suits, one in Michigan and one in New Jersey, and there were more — and they’ve since been consolidated into a single suit seeking class-action status.

The U.S. District Court in San Francisco is now set to decide the case, The Wall Street Journal reports this week, in a move that will likely influence future augmented reality MMOs like PoGo.

“Residents of the Villas of Positano on the South Florida coast said hundreds of people began infiltrating the 62-unit complex, parking illegally and even relieving themselves in the landscaping during late-night visits to ‘catch’ virtual characters. Another plaintiff, a New Jersey lawyer, said at least five people knocked on his door asking for access to his backyard. In Michigan, a couple said a quiet nearby park became overrun once it was tagged as a location in the game, creating a nightmare for neighbors as players stormed the area, blocked driveways and peered in windows. […] The intrusions, the plaintiffs say, amount to negligence and trespassing by the game’s developer, Niantic Inc. They claim not only that Niantic is responsible for players who physically trespassed, but also that the placement of the virtual characters is itself a form of trespassing.”

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Pokemon Go has lost 80% of its users a year after launch

There are two ways to look at the latest player numbers from Pokémon Go. The first is to say that things are downright peachy; after all, no one is going to scoff at five million players on a daily basis. You could, however, also point out that this down from a high around 28 million, which translates to an 80% loss in about a year. That may indicate a downward trend, which is more worrisome. You choose the narrative you wish to attach to the numbers!

Whatever narrative you prefer, it’s fairly clear that a lack of requested features, issues with battling and monster distribution, and the general fading novelty of the title all contributed to the drop. Only time will tell if the recent update adding the second generation of Pokémon into the game will reverse the trend over the long term or not.

Last week, Massively OP’s Andrew Ross penned a Soapbox on his frustration that the game still appears to be a tech demo. Worth a read if you’re also wondering about the game’s many problems!

Source: ComScore via VG24/7

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The Soapbox: Why is Pokemon GO still a tech demo?

I’ve been a bit frustrated with Niantic lately. I love some of its ideas, but I watched someone else play Ingress prior to Pokemon GO’s release, and I noticed very similar problems between the two games after release — problems that the company should have noticed and corrected in its followup.

Recently I decided to try out the former. Both are totally unintuitive. You have to search the UI for the tutorials, though Ingress’ can be accessed only near objectives. You’re asked to join a faction sooner there than in PoGO and with no context beyond 2-3 sentences. The game throws jargon with little to no context at you throughout the tutorial, making it difficult to follow. I walked around, clicking things and used items that I don’t fully understand, not because I’m too lazy to read but because I wanted to understand a game without consulting google. I saw portals get taken without anyone around me as I stood by an objective near a government-restricted area where standing still longer than it takes to read “No Trespassing” could trigger security. I couldn’t get into it, not just because it was simple but because it was poorly designed.

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Pokemon Go shinies, promo codes, and trading

Pokemon GO recently ran a Water Festival to celebrate International Water Day on March 22, a holiday I hadn’t known existed in either America or Japan (though Niantic’s event was a bit early perhaps a better Thailand’s Water Festival/New Year, Songkran). As you’d expect, the event featured more water Pokemon, but it also finally introduced rare shiny color variants of Pokemon… or at least just Magikarp and Gyrados. Sadly, a tracker display issue and its supposed fix made it difficult for some players to catch Pokemon in general. Combined with the low odds of finding a shiny, like in the main series, fans had been worried that the end of the event meant the end of shinies. Not so.

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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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