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: Christmas in a warzone (December 25, 2016)

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, Warface brought a little holiday cheer into its relentless warzones. We’ve got that plus stories and videos from Overwatch, Elder Scrolls Online, Minecraft, and more, all waiting for you after the break!

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How Pokemon Go should integrate Pokemon Sun/Moon

Say what you will about following tradition, but when I first heard more Pokemon would be added to Pokemon GO, the first thing I thought was, “Please, please don’t add new ‘mon based on generations!” Maybe you have fond memories of evolving the Magmar my generation loved into the abominations it became, or maybe you thought the elemental monkeys weren’t lame. That’s fine. We were all dumb kids who loved weird things. I won’t judge you (too harshly, anyway).

But honestly, from a development perspective, and keeping in mind the Pokemon Company’s theme of adding something new that targets first generation fans, I feel like Niantic missed some big opportunities by focusing on the old Generation 2 Pokemon when the new Pokemon Sun and Moon games are so ripe for potential expansion content.

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Massively OP’s Best of 2016 Awards: The Pseudo-MMO of the Year

Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2016 awards continue today with our award for Best Pseudo-MMO of 2016, which was awarded to ARK: Survival Evolved last year. As you might surmise, the games eligible for this category are online games that generally aren’t considered traditional MMORPGs — they’re MOBAs, online dungeon crawlers, ARPGs, online shooters, survival sandboxes, and other games that tread into MMO territory but aren’t full MMORPGs. Once again, we’ve opted to include pre-2016 titles, as long as they accomplished something truly notable in this calendar year. Don’t forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end!

The Massively OP staff pick for Best Pseudo-MMO of 2016 is…

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Massively OP’s guide to the 2016 MMORPG winter holidays

It’s time to get all snuggly in front of a crackling fire, roast up some chestnuts, down a gallon of hot chocolate, and log into your favorite online RPGs for seasonal festivities! Or you could “bah humbug!” your way through the season and ignore all of the silly, free, and rewarding events if you so desire. We’re not here to tell you what to do, after all!

With extra time off of work and school, many gamers have the opportunity to take advantage of all of the winter holiday events that are running across MMORPGs, MOBAs, and other online games. Feeling at a loss about where to start? Board the Massively OP sleigh and join us as we take you on a tour of all of the Christmas events going on right now!

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Massively OP’s Best of 2016 Awards: Worst MMORPG Business Model of 2016

Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2016 awards continue today with our award for Worst MMORPG Business Model of 2016, which is another new consideration for us this year thanks to a proposal from readers strangesands and Roke. As a counterpart to yesterday’s award for the best business model of the year, this “award” is intended to recognize a live MMORPG of any age that has demonstrated a particularly awful business model specifically in 2016, regardless of its past performance. Don’t forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end!

The Massively OP staff pick for Worst MMORPG Business Model of 2016 is…

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Massively OP’s Best of 2016 Awards: Biggest MMORPG Story of 2016

Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2016 awards continue today with our award for Biggest MMORPG Story of 2016, which was awarded to the SOE/Daybreak formation drama last year. This isn’t an award based on popularity as measured by hits or comments, and it’s not for a single article; it’s an award for an ongoing narrative or event of deep importance and significance for the genre in 2016. Don’t forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end!

The Massively OP staff pick for Biggest MMORPG Story of 2016 is…

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Massively Overthinking: The best MMORPG developer quotes of 2016

One of the fun things we implemented on the site this year is a database of quotes from developers (among other entries) that are relevant to the MMORPG industry. In the spirit of the end-of-the-year posts that we’ve begun rolling out, today’s Massively Overthinking is a simple but fun one: I asked our writers to submit a favorite or memorable MMO developer quote from 2016 and explain why it matters. When we’re done, we invite you to do the same in the comments! (And yes, the best ones will be chucked into that widget for posterity!)

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Pokemon GO confirms rumors with Generation 2 update, 7800-store Starbucks rollout

The Starbucks leak is at least partially true: Niantic has confirmed that Pokemon Go has teamed up with the coffee company. Starting at 2 p.m. EST today, 7800 participating locations will become PokeStops and/or gyms, so you can get your coffee and screw around on your phone in a totally new way. One Reddit user has noted that the promised promotional drink is super sweet, but we’ve yet to hear anything about new Pokemon and their relationship with Starbucks. We have, however, heard some more news.

Sprint is also getting in on the Niantic team ups. Like Starbucks, participating Sprint, Boost Mobile, and Radio Shack shops are also PokeStops and gyms. While there was no mention of promotional drinks for these businesses, they are offering charging stations at least.

As some players have already noticed, the new update allows for some small quality of life improvements, from seeing the type of Pokemon you’re fighting in gyms to sending multiple Pokemon to the professor for candy.

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Pokemon Go Starbucks Event and a possible new Pokemon are rumored for December 8

Starbucks Pokemon trainers (or friends of trainers) have apparently leaked images today that purport to reveal an upcoming promotional event for Niantic’s Pokemon Go. While most of the document describes the game, how to make a Pokemon Go inspired frappuccino, how to handle the event, and what the game actually is, a few of the images contain much more revealing text.

While it’s easy to get distracted by the drink and game descriptions, the very first line reads, “The world of Pokemon GO is about to expand with new Pokemon and a new Starbucks beverage!” and the note that the promotion begins with the new PoGo update on Thursday, December 8th (emphasis ours). Of course, this might all be subject to change if Niantic or Starbucks feel the leak threatens business, so we’ll file this under rumor for now, but the pile of evidence is only growing in the meantime.

We also don’t yet know whether the new Pokemon are Generation 1 legendaries (white and purple for Mewtwo?) or are related to the Generation 2 data previously mined. We’ll just have to wait a couple of days to find out, and then? Frappuccinos for everyone!

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The MOP Up: Hearthstone cruises down some Mean Streets (December 4, 2016)

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 Hearthstone released its Mean Streets of Gadgetzan expansion, making all of us wish that World of Warcraft had a town like this. We’ve got that plus stories and videos from VaingloryIngressFinal Fantasy XI, and more, all waiting for you after the break!

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Academics assess Pokemon Go’s value to conservation and education

Let’s cap off the evening with some feel-good, sciency stories about Pokemon Go, shall we?

Zoologists at Oxford University are studying Pokemon Go to determine how the game might be harnessed for conservation efforts. While they’ve noted that obsession with shiny bright pretend Pokemon could negatively impact people’s willingness and desire to interact with the actual natural world, they point to innate similarities between naturalist activities and Pokemon play. With a few tweaks to the game — like more realistic ecology, real species, and a focus on remote settings — it could even become a “citizen science” project and reinvigorate people’s love for the outdoors and exploring the natural environment, especially since the game already encourages people to flock together for rare critters, not unlike birdwatchers. In fact, there’s already a hashtag (#Pokeblitz) for people trying to identify animals and plants they’ve found while out hunting Pokemon on their phones.

Meanwhile, on this side of the pond, Arizona State University professor Karen Guerrero already designed a 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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The Game Archaeologist: EA’s Majestic

“This is not a game. Or is it?”

Conspiracy theories and paranoia were hot with pop culture in the 1990s, largely thanks to movies like The Net and TV shows like the X-Files, which had the tagline of “I want to believe.” With the rise of the internet during the decade and the fantastic leaps and bounds technology had been making, people were not only experiencing new ways to play games but also growing suspicious that these tools could have a sinister side.

It was into this niche that EA stepped to create an ambitious $20 million project that would fuse massively multiplayer interactivity, the growing variety of technological mediums, and conspiracy theories together. The project was Majestic, an alternate reality game (ARG) that would be the most expensive and highest profile attempt to date. It generated great amounts of interest and publicity, had a promising start, and then flared out hard by the end of 2001.

Considering how ARGs and MMOs have crossed paths since, most recently with The Secret World and Overwatch, I wanted to revisit an attempt to develop a game that would run parallel in many ways with the industry that we love today.

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