More than a year after its initial launch, Pokemon Go is often remembered for its rabid players that overwhelmed parks and swarmed streets looking for cute little pocket monsters. But people tend to forget that Pokemon Go was also many people's first experience with augmented reality. And while today's trainer count is down from peak numbers last summer, Pokemon Go creator Niantic says the game's augmented reality features were noticeably improved thanks to an integration with Apple's ARKit on iOS.
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The Pokemon GO phenomenon has mostly faded, but the destruction left in its wake could be far larger than anyone imagined. Two professors from Perdue University have attempted to get an idea of the game's effect on traffic accidents by studying data from one county in Indiana. The results don't reflect well on Pikachu and friends.
Since Pokemon Go's launch in July last year, the Augmented Reality phenomenon has been downloaded over 750 million times and made more than $1.5 billion. That's not a typo. While more than 80 per cent of players (myself included) haven't opened the app in months, 60 million people are still playing today.
That's a lot of people getting out and about, increasing their physical activity, getting fitter. But does the gamification of exercise actually work? Short answer: yeah, it does.
The pitch was Pokemon GO meets Call of Duty. I couldn't quite fathom how that would turn into a cool as hell game, but it involved augmented reality, a key feature of Pokemon GO, and laser tag, and those are both very fun things. Then I sat down with the team from Skyrocket and got to actually hold one of the guns from its new Recoil laser tag system. "It's AR adjacent," the PR rep said. My interest plummeted, but I gamely let them set up the demo and tried to play for an hour. While it quickly became clear this was only Pokemon GO meets Call of Duty in the most high brow theoretical sense, it was also clear that Recoil could be the best backyard laser tag system built yet.
Apple released some figures last night that showed the global app store developer community has earned over $70 billion since it launched in 2008. And there's no sign of slowing down: in the past 12 months alone, downloads have grown over 70 per cent, says Apple.
The top grossing categories? Gaming and Entertainment, of course.
Earlier today, Niantic added 80 new Johto-region Pokemon to the Pokemon GO lineup -- and if the proliferation of lures in my local area is any indication, a lot of players are back in the game. Along with the new Pokemon, Niantic has also added a handful of evolutionary items. Here's everything you need to know.
Thanks to its ability to attract non-gamers, nostalgic characters, simple mechanics, the novelty of augmented reality and its social nature, Pokemon GO reached a level of success in 2016 that eludes even some of the most successful traditional video games.
Record downloads, engagement and of course - revenue.
On Saturday, Russian officials announced that atheist vlogger Ruslan Sokolovsky has been detained for two months for "inciting hatred" and "insulting religious feelings" after posting a video of himself playing Pokémon Go inside a historic cathedral. He reportedly faces up to five years in jail if convicted.
This past weekend, many Pokemon GO gyms were rendered unplayable. Players trying to battle at sites like Big Ben were greeted not by a 'mon but by an egg that glitched the game, protecting these gyms from being defeated. Eggs appeared in New York City, London and elsewhere -- and almost all of them were placed there by the same person.
The producers of an upcoming live-action Pokemon movie have just caught themselves two writers with lots of experience points. They're Nicole Perlman, co-writer of Guardians of the Galaxy and the upcoming Captain Marvel, along with Alex Hirsch, the creator of Disney's hit show Gravity Falls.
Niantic Inc., the company behind that app you won't stop hearing about Pokémon Go, has taken a stand against cheaters in the past, or anybody who violates its terms of service, such as sending out cease and desist letters to tracker apps. Now the company has stated that it will outright ban users for those violations.
Video: Does it ever feel like all you see in Pokemon GO is that stupid Pidgey bird or that dumb Ekans snake one or that ugly Zubat? There's a simple reason for this: They obviously get carpet bombed all over the Earth to clutter your map and drain your smartphone battery. Or at least, that's what Nixolas imagines. His hilarious and wonderful CG work on how Pokemon GO spawns the most common Pokemon is so damn good.
Now that Niantic has taken a lot of the fun out of Pokemon GO, you have even fewer reasons to feel guilty about finding out-of-the-box ways to improve your game play (translation: Cheating). A clunky 3D-printed smartphone case is one solution, but a finger-guiding invisible screen protector is a much better way to go.
Pokemon Go's "nearby" menu was, on the game's launch, a great way to find out which Pokemon were around your location, with a handy one-, two- or three-step symbol showing exactly how close said pocket monsters were. A glitch that showed all Pokemon as three steps away destroyed its usefulness almost entirely, then Niantic removed steps altogether in a great example of salting the earth on which something beautiful once grew. Now, like a Moltres from the ashes, a new "sightings" menu -- with added long grass -- has taken its place.