Pokemon Go: Swatting, Fukushima, pay-to-win, and accessory delays

    
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Still playing Pokemon Go? You and 75 million other people, apparently.

  • Colorado Twitch streamer Summit1g was swatted while streaming his Pokemon Go play when a horrible person who should totally be arrested for doing this lied to police and told told them Summit1g had an automatic rifle and was planting bombs in the park with the aim to “kill cops.” Fortunately, no one was killed. Not funny.
  • Tracking firm SensorTower believes Pokemon Go has scored over 75 million downloads worldwide in 32 of the 100+ markets where it’s currently available — with almost no advertising. However, SurveyMonkey stats seem to suggest Pokemon Go usage actually peaked back on July 14th, downloads peaked on day one, and the frequency of searches on the game is slowly falling.
  • Nintendo has announced that the Pokemon Go Plus accessory has been delayed to September, which is bad news if you’re still mentally picturing those peak activity numbers. The accessory is a $35 bluetooth toy that connects to players’ phones to alert them to nearby Pokemon.
  • Kotaku reports that Japanese Pokemon Go players are being urged to avoid the radiation zone around the Fukushima Daiichi reactor. The power company responsible for the tsunami-besieged, melted-down reactor has apparently asked Niantic to remove Pokemon spawns from the area – the way it removed some of the 9/11 Memorial Pokestops – but so far, the Pokemon Company and Niantic have issued only vague statements about Fukushima. In the meantime, maybe don’t go there?

  • Games researcher Ramin Shokrizade has a neat piece out on Gamasutra this week exploring Pokemon Go’s monetization. Intriguingly, he points out that the game is absolutely pay-to-win, but it isn’t being perceived that way by its players, in part because of what he’s calling “group monetisation techniques.” Where he dings the game’s potential for moneymaking is in its “reward removal” systems. He doesn’t believe the popularity of the game is in danger of plummeting, but he does argue that “[i]ts ability to monetise will certainly wane due to the critical flaws” he lists.
  • Nintendo entered a higher than expected loss in its second quarter, Reuters reports; the company blamed the strong yen but expects operating profit to rise by a third through the rest of the year.
  • There now exists a Pokemon Go-flavored edition of dating app Tinder. It’s called PokeMatch. You’re welcome.
  • Apparently Pokemon Go players trying to play in downtown Philadelphia during the Democratic national convention are having a struggle finding anything good! (I live in Philly, but there’s no way I’m going out in convention traffic. I’m cowering inside my house in the air conditioning, thanks!)