Pokémon GO has been out 5 years. Yep, somehow, time has flown like a Celebi and we’ve had half a decade of catching Pokemon on the move! To celebrate, let’s look at how the game evolved and the changes we need to see in Pokémon GO!
When did Pokemon Go launch?
Pokémon GO launched in July 2016. It all started with a simple catch and evolve setup: Our favourite gen 1 critters, from Pidgey to the ever-adorable Rattata! Big gyms towered above towns and cities and you chose your allegiance – The fiery Valor, the feisty Instinct or the fabulous Mystic. Pokémon GO swept the world up and hasn’t looked back! People from all walks of life teamed up to catch critters, it’s a game that’s brought people together like no other. So wholesome!
Of course, there have been some weird stories too, like a lady who got stuck in a graveyard tree trying to catch Pokemon, or players who kayaked out into the middle of the ocean to conquer a gym or even a guy who tried to catch a pidgey whilst his wife was in a labour. Dedication.
How Pokémon GO Evolved
The game evolved from a gym defence to so much more, with Niantic claiming that the launch build was just 10% of what they aimed to achieve. We had the launch of the adorable buddy Pokémon who’d walk alongside you and in 2017, epic raid battles. Such a great way of bringing a community together. Another massive resurgence for a game many thought was just a fad!
In 2019 we visited LA and took a trip to the iconic Santa Monica pier, experiencing the heart of Pokémon GO – so many incredible stops, loads of players and it was just so much fun – check out our previous vlog for a rattata rundown!
Beyond raids came another way of connecting players: trades and friendship! Being able to send gifts to friends around the world in the Pokémon community has been incredibly fun, especially during the pandemic. And they now come with cute little stickers too! In recent years we’ve had the most-requested feature: trainer versus trainer battles. Whether it’s John from in the pub, Betty from 3000 miles away or even Team Rocket CPUs, you could finally put your battle skills to the test!
The Future of Pokémon GO: How can the game evolve?
It’s been five years of Pokémon GO – a game that’s still incredibly popular, with around 60-70 million players a month around the world! How can the game evolve further? Here are five features we would love to see added
Pokemon GO Chat System
With worldwide remote raids, levelling up syncs and more – a simple chat system would be a great way of connecting people. Of course there would be a safety concern, but being able to send simple messages to co-ordinate with other Pokémon GO trainers would be a great way to keep the game active and keep people playing!
Speaking of worldwide, how do we not have global trading? We’ve had the friendship and trading system for a few years now, but trading is still limited to those physically close. Beyond the pandemic, worldwide trades should really be an option. Perhaps limited to only a handful of friends per day, or specific rules to keep it from going crazy!
Ooooh! My Pokemon is evolving! When you first play Pokémon GO, it’s incredible to see all these sweet animation scenes, but surely there has to be a way to skip these? You can bypass certain scenes, like gift giving, to make things quicker but key animation is still very much unskippable inPokémon GO. Skip, skip, please skip!
I love by little Pokemon buddy, but beyond slight boots, there aren’t many incentives for keeping certain buddies next to you. How about the option to perhaps reduce the stardust amount for powering up the closer you get to your buddy, or even the number of candies needed to evolve? It would be a great incentive to level up these little companions!
We’re incredibly lucky as TeeChu HQ is right in the heart of town so there are a number of PokeStops nearby. But speaking to fellow players, there’s definitely a lack of stops in more rural areas, with one or two a few miles away. It’s an unbalanced experience and Niantic really do need to add more in where they can!
Need Pokemon GO tees and gear for your next big raid? You’ll need our Wild Monster traps collection!
What features would you like to see added to Pokémon GO?