Anyone with a phone has caught on that mobile gaming is kind of a big deal. Everyone constantly plays a number of games and the games themselves are becoming multimedia franchises that dominate both small and big screens. But the biggest story in mobile right now isn’t about a mobile app going big, it’s about a huge franchise going small.
If there’s one app that has people talking, it’s Pokemon Go. The long-awaited mobile version of everyone’s favorite monster-catching game is finally here and the fever to catch them all has officially gripped the world. Despite server issues and reports that the game can cause battery drain, Venture Beat notes that the game immediately shot to the top of the App Store and we don’t see anything knocking it off that perch anytime soon. The augmented reality game has made the dreams of millions of fans, well, a reality. By using a smart phone’s GPS technology, the game allows players to discover and catch Pokemon in real-world locations.
Fans are clamoring for the best items and rarest creatures and a lot of their chances rely on being in the right place at the right time. A player’s level also makes a big difference on their ability to catch specific monsters and can significantly increase their odds, rather than having to throw a ball after ball at a creature and pray for the best. At the end of the day, though, much of a player’s success boils down to luck and perseverance. Plenty of players have already found rare Pokemon, so a little dedication goes a long way to hitting it big on the digital safari.
Pokemon Go is a prime example of how Nintendo has been working to broaden its appeal to mobile gamers. The company initially dipped its toes in the water with a social platform, Miitomo, though its reception quickly soured following the burst of initial interest. The allure of a new Pokemon title and the idea of promotions and competition against other players should help to go a long way in, not only developing a large audience, but also retaining it.
This practice is particularly common in online gaming, where companies set up various promotions and incentives to entice more gamers to try their platforms. Gala Bingo hosts a number of different jackpot games that promise bigger prizes and better odds to interested players. Often available only at specific times of the day, the promotions rely on the player’s own persistence. Although, with 17,000 winners a day, this effort obviously pays off.
There’s no telling how long the craze is expected to last but early reports make it seem as though this fad is going to be around for a while. As of this writing, the game is available in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. Gamespot has reported that Go is “coming soon” to Canada, Europe, and South America.
As the game continues to grow in content and popularity, many of its initial issues should be quickly worked out. It would appear that the Pokemon Company and the game’s developer, Niantic, are paying close attention to the feedback from players and are already working on battery life and server fixes. That being said, the game is able to translate enough of Pokemon’s whimsy and wonder to smart phones that these wrinkles have done little to curb fans’ enthusiasm.