by Graham Pierrepoint
Pokemon GO was arguably the hit game and mobile craze of the summer, on a global scale – as kids and adults alike were inspired to take their smartphones into the big, wide world and hunt virtual monsters that appear on their devices. The application has received acclaim for its intuitive design and its ease of play, while it has come under scrutiny in recent weeks due to several bugs and a lack of features – statistics recently showed that the bubble may have finally burst, with several long-term players having signed off their apps for good. However, a long-awaited update to the game may well entice even the most sceptical of players back into the fold.
One of the main components of the original Pokemon games revolved around the ability to battle and trade with fellow players – initially, via the Game Boy link cable – and it has been a running criticism of Pokemon GO that neither feature has been made available yet. Almost three months into the game’s run, hardcore players are continuing to stick by developers Niantic in the hope that a new twist on the format will be introduced – and this week, news suggests that these hopes may finally be honored in the weeks and months to come.
Despite Pokemon GO’s popularity, Niantic have come under fire for changes they have made to the game’s interface and a lack of staggered gameplay changes to help keep the format interesting. However, many sources now state that Niantic aim to bring in Pokemon trading between players sometime this fall, with some outlets even claiming that we may be able to trade as early as October. Certainly, it will make lucrative sense for Niantic to take advantage of the dwindling curve of popularity as soon as possible, particularly if they are wishing to introduce the remaining legendary Pokemon into the game at a later stage. With rumors also rife regarding the emergence of later-generation creatures, it seems that there has been no better time for the developer to start considering how to recapture the amazing popularity it experienced in July and August.
Will we witness Pokemon GO rise back up and capture our interest once again over fall and winter? Or will the summer of 2016 be remembered as its time in the sun? Let’s wait and see what October has in store for us!