As with a lot of Nintendo’s ideas, in the short time since its release Pokémon GO has become a bit of a cultural phenomenon. Like the Wii before it, Pokémon GO has managed to bridge the divide between gamers and non-gamers. Fans from all walks of life, from young kids to fully grown adults with kids of their own have joined forces to catch ’em all. So in the coming weeks and months, there will be a lot to talk about with this game. To help readers keep everything straight we here at MXDWN have decided to create a one-stop-shop for all things Pokémon GO.
This will be a growing article, so remember to check back here for regular updates.
Pokémon GO launched in the US last week to massive success, and in case you haven’t heard of the game, here is a quick rundown of the game’s features.
Players create an in-game avatar that will run around a simulated map of the surrounding area. As they walk players can see what Pokémon are nearby, and walking to them gives players the opportunity to catch said Pokémon. The Pokémon are seen as 3D models superimposed into the surrounding environment, making Pokémon GO the first ever augmented reality Pokémon game.
Right now players only have access to 130 of the first generation of critters. Gamespot reports that developers Niantic are working on how to incorporate Pokémon from the other five generations as well as how legendary Pokémon will work.
The game is still young and is missing some features from the game, like trading. Although Niantic Labs CEO John Hanke did confirm to Business Insider that the mechanic will be added in a future update. The current release date for the update is unknown, but Hanke told GameInformer that the studio is aiming for bi-weekly updates.
Among the classic features is evolution, which is handled in a new way. Instead of leveling up Pokémon though battling, players will instead have to capture several of the same Pokémon to collect enough evolutionary shards. As Alexa Ray said to Gamespot, evolution works like this:
Players can also find eggs at PokéStops, places of note in the real world that give players in-game items. Hatching the egg requires players to walking a certain distance, just like in the original games.
Pokémon GO is available for iOS and Android. However, the app is only available to people in Australia, New Zealand, United States, and Germany.
The game’s launch hasn’t been perfect, server issues were the source of most of the game’s complaints.
Earlier this week we wrote about the launch of Pokémon GO. While the game has been incredibly popular, with sites like Digital Vision and Forbes saying that the app is more popular than Tinder and has more daily active users than Twitter respectively, it seems that the launch has been less than smooth.
Server issues plagued, and still plague, players across the country and beyond. In fact, the server issues are what prevent the game from going global. Originally the game was meant to release first in Australia and New Zealand before going to the US and the rest of the world. However once the game went live the constant complaints about server issues caused Niantic to put the international launch on hold while the issue was fixed.
Now it looks like the issues are being resolved as Polygon reports that Pokémon GO has launched in Germany, meaning that a full international launch is on the way.
With an international launch on hold, fans are already wholeheartedly embracing the game, unfortunately, that has caused players to stumble into some bad situations.
The pursuit of Poképrowess isn’t always perfect, sometimes it can be downright dark, as one player discovered a few days ago. You can read the full story on our site.
While searching for a water-type Pokémon, 19-year-old Shayla Wiggins from Wyoming hopped a fence to check along a shoreline for Pokémon. unfortunately, what Shayla found wasn’t a Krabby or a Shellder but a dead body. That would be a traumatic for anyone and Shayla is no different, here is what she had to say about the experience,
It was pretty shocking. […] I didn’t know what to do at first. But I called 911 right away and they came really quickly. […] I was pretty scared and cried for a while.
On July 12th multiple sources confirmed that the body found was of Jeffery Day and according to the police report said that the death was “accidental in nature and possibly that of a drowning.” and that “there is no evidence at this time that would indicate foul play.”
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Day family.
Stay safe out there trainers.
As if finding a dead body wasn’t bad enough, it looks like some nefarious people are using the popular game to rob unassuming players. You can check out our original article here.
This morning at approximately 2 am we responded to the report of an Armed Robbery near the intersection of… https://t.co/1SoRxogtSj
— O'Fallon (MO) Police (@ofallonpolice) July 10, 2016
The O’Fallon Missouri Police sent out a press release two days ago detailing the crime. In the report, officers responded to a call about an armed robbery at around 2 AM on a Saturday morning. Officers later caught up with the suspects who were “occupying a black BMW” The men were arrested and charged with Robbery 1st Degree and Armed Criminal Action.
The O’Fallon Police released a picture of the three suspects.
The report also said that the trio is suspected of other armed robberies in the area.
These suspects are suspected of multiple armed robberies both in St. Louis and St. Charles Counties. It is believed these suspects targeted their victims through the Pokémon GO smartphone application.
It is believed that the men set up a PokéStop and lured players to an abandoned parking lot at night.
The three are currently in jail with a $100,000 bond.
Along with all the server issues Pokémon GO has had a recent report shows that the app may have access to more than just your name and location.
If you downloaded Pokémon GO on iOS you might want to check your privacy settings because in a report Monday it was revealed that Pokémon GO had full access to players’ Google accounts. You can read the original story here.
Normally when you launch an app, especially one that uses personal info like your location, you are greeted with a permissions screen when you first launch the app. Usually, something like “hey, can we use your name and email?” So when Pokémon GO didn’t ask users for permission one person, namely Adam Reeve, decided to look into it.
What he found out was that the game had full access to the player’s Google account. Reeve states on his Tumblr that Niantic could do the following things,
- Read all your email
- Send email as you
- Access all your Google drive documents (including deleting them)
- Look at your search history and your Maps navigation history
- Access any private photos you may store in Google Photos
- And a whole lot more
Before people go assuming that Niantic was up to something evil, it appears that it was more of an oversight. When Niantic caught wind they issued a statement to Polygon talking about what exactly the app does with the info it collects.
We recently discovered that the Pokémon GO account creation process on iOS erroneously requests full access permission for the user’s Google account. However, Pokémon GO only accesses basic Google profile information (specifically, your User ID and email address) and no other Google account information is or has been accessed or collected. Once we became aware of this error, we began working on a client-side fix to request permission for only basic Google profile information, in line with the data that we actually access. Google has verified that no other information has been received or accessed by Pokémon GO or Niantic. Google will soon reduce Pokémon GO‘s permission to only the basic profile data that Pokémon GO needs, and users do not need to take any actions themselves.
While out on the prowl for new Pokémon you might have noticed that a few aspects of the game can start to wear on you after awhile. During Nintendo’s E3 Treehouse Live event, the company showed off an optional peripheral for Pokémon GO that is just what fans have been looking for, shame it’s almost impossible to get ahold of.
If you’ve been playing Pokémon GO you no doubt understand the frustration of missing out on the chance to catch a cool Pokémon and the tedium of catching six Pidgeys. So like most people, when pre-orders went live for the Pokémon GO Plus accessory, you tried to get your hands on one. Sadly what most people discovered is that they are sold out everywhere. That doesn’t mean you can’t get one, you just have to be willing to pay. Read the original story here.
Fans desperate enough for the peripheral can head over to eBay and bid on one of the many pre-orders, most of which are going for $100 or more.
Normally costing $35 what the watch does is allow players to interact with the game without having to turn on the app. Players can collect items from PokéStop and catch Pokémon with a press of a button. Even though you can only catch Pokémon you’ve already caught, it will still mitigate the repeat captures.
It’s likely that Nintendo will make more and open pre-orders again, so check back here for more info.
There is currently no release date for the Pokémon GO Plus accessory.
UPDATE: 7/14 10:52
With the server issues hopefully resolved, Niantic continues Pokémon GO‘s international launch with the UK. Eurogamer reports that after an agonizing week watching people enjoying the game, fans in the UK can finally start catching Pokémon in their backyards.
UPDATE 7/18 10:52
Niantic continues its international launch with the release of Pokémon GO in Canada. The announcement was made via a tweet from the official Pokémon GO Twitter account.
Pokémon GO is now available in Canada! Discover and capture Pokémon all around you. pic.twitter.com/uTXwIk85IZ
— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) July 17, 2016
In our original post on the topic we said that this will bring the game to over twenty-six countries including “Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Poland, and Sweden.” However there is still one major country that has yet to play the game, Japan.
The reason for the delay being server issues, the same thing that delayed the game’s international launch. According to our post on the Japanese delay, Niantic is still struggling to get enough server coverage. The company told Forbes that they plan on getting the game out “soon, if not by the end of July.”
Still it looks as though all of these delays won’t be hurting Nintendo’s bottom line. Along with IGN saying that the game’s launch shot Nintendo’s stock prices up seventy percent, with ten percent coming from the game’s launch day, Pokémon GO has also helped Nintendo break records.
Bloomberg released a graph yesterday which shows how the game’s success has effected the company.
As you can see, Nintendo shattered the record held by Tokyo Electric for most traded stock in a single day, with traded shares totaling 476 billion Yen ($4.5 billion USD).
As Nintendo’s profits soar, trainers continue to find themselves in some sticky situations.
A pair of teens were shot at by a man who believed them to be robbers. You can read the original story here.
In an article by the Orlando Sentinel, it was said that a 37-year-old man was awoken by a loud sound. When he went to investigate he discovered a white car outside his house. He grabbed his handgun when he heard on of the teens say “did you get anything?” Believing them to be robbers, the man confronted them and told the pair not to move.
The kids then drove away. The man happened to be in their path as they drove and jumped out of the way before firing a few rounds at the car. According to the report, he believed they were “attempting to strike him.”
Luckily, no one was injured in the altercation.
The mother of one of the teens contacted the police the next day to clear up the situation. The mother said that the two were searching for Pokémon – a Marowak and a Tauros – near the man’s home. They caught the Pokémon before hearing gunfire and running.
Police are still investigating the incident.
People are in love with Pokémon GO, but there are others out there that have really taken the game to heart. People like Tom Currie, a man from New Zealand, who quit his job to pursue Pokémon full time. The Guardian contacted Currie who had this to say about his decision.
I wanted to have an adventure…I have been working for six years and I was desperate for a break, and Pokémon gave me the chance to live that dream.
Currently, Currie has twenty bus trips planed and has already caught all the Pokémon in six South Island towns.
You can read the original story here.
UPDATE 7/27 10:41
After a lengthy delay, Pokémon GO is out in Japan, with a corporate sponsor no less. The game officially came out on July 22nd, a full week ahead of what Niantic projected.
The Japanese version of the game will also feature the first sponsored location, McDonald’s. The deal would turn all McDonald’s locations into gyms which would hopefully draw players to the establishment for a battle and a burger.
With the game out in the series’ native land, Pokémon GO is now in the hands of the most of the population and it seems like players have already chosen an unlikely favorite among the available creatures.
Vaporeon, the water Eeveelution, has become a fan favorite among players. We reported that most people who play the game competitively have one on their team. What makes this development odd is that, like in the original game, Vaporeon isn’t even the strongest monster available. According to a chart on Kotaku, the strongest Pokémon, barring unobtainable legendaries like Mewtwo and the legendary birds, is Dragonite , with Vaporeon coming in 13th behind Gyarados.
The reason could be that Eevees are generally easy to get for most players, and with a evolution cost of 25 candies, most players have an eeveelution on their team.
Still it’s hard to predict which of the three eeveelutions you will get, however, the internet has found a more reliable way to predict it.
You see, in the anime there were a set of triplets, each with a eeveelution to match their personality. Rainer had Vaporeon, Sparky had Jolteon, and Pyro had Flareon. Legend goes that if you name your Eevee after one of the brothers you will get their corresponding Pokémon.
In an effort to catch ’em all more efficiently some players have turned to third-party companion apps like Poké Radar to track down the elusive pocket monsters.
The app tells players where the creatures are and how far away they are, currently the app is available on iOS and Android.
Our original story can be read here.
San Diego Comic Con was last week and Niantic was at the convention to share some info about the game. You can read the full story on our site. During the Pokémon GO panel, Niantic’s CEO John Hanke revealed Candela, Blanche, and Spark, the leaders of Teams Valor, Mystic, and Instinct respectively.
Hanke also said that trading will be added to the game, they just need to get the servers fixed before the can introduce it.
Niantic needs for the Pokemon Go servers to stabilize before they can introduce the ability to swap monsters with other players.
With all the game’s success, Nintendo saw their stocks go up yet again. Although, this would only be temporary as Nintendo released a statement to its share holder saying how much involvement the company actually has in the game.
Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve reported on the boon the game has been for Nintendo and this week we saw Nintendo’s market cap shoot past Sony, the former front runner.
Bloomberg released a graph tracking the growth.
This proved to be short lived as the above paragraph and Polygon stated. In a separate article by Polygon, it was reported that Nintendo made a statement to its investors clarifying the company’s role in the game, and it’s very minimal. Brandon Sheffield, a writer for Gamasutra, helpfully tweeted a chart if you don’t understand all the jargon used in the article.
When people ask who made Pokemon, here’s a chart with the actual answer pic.twitter.com/G2JItLqzzu
— brandon sheffield (@necrosofty) July 19, 2016
Once that was made clear, Nintedo’s stocks dropped seventeen percent overnight. Still, that doesn’t mean that the company is hurting as their stock are still up sixty percent.
UPDATE: 8/4 12:01
The update along with allowing places to opt-out of being Pokéstops and gyms also fixed the three-step glitch, in a way.
The three-step glitch, if you are unaware, is the bug that shows all nearby Pokémon as the furthest distance away from the player, three steps. The problem being is that the app permanently says that the creatures are three steps away, making tracking nearly impossible. Niantic’s solution was to remove the steps system all together making tracking actually impossible.
This doesn’t mean that the feature is gone forever. Niantic understands the importance of the feature and will bring it back once it’s been fixed. According to Entertainment Weekly, Niantic made this statement on their Facebook page about the update.
We have removed the ‘3-step’ display in order to improve upon the underlying design. The original feature, although enjoyed by many, was also confusing and did not meet our underlying product goals. We strive to improve this feature. If you haven’t heard us Tweeting much it’s because we’ve been heads down working on the game, but we’ll do our best going forward to keep you posted on what’s going on.
Here’s everything that was changed in the update, courtesy of Kotaku.
- Avatars can now be re-customized from the Trainer profile screen
- Adjusted battle move damage values for some Pokémon
- Refined certain Gym animations
- Improved memory issues
- Removed footprints of nearby Pokémon
- Modified battle damage calculation
- Various bug fixes during wild Pokémon encounter
- Updated Pokémon details screen
- Updated achievement medal images
- Fixed issues with displaying certain map features
- Minor text fixes
The Pokémon in question, Articuno and the owner Kaitlyn Covey. She claims that she was given the creature by Niantic itself. On August 2nd, Matt Covey, Mrs. Covey’s better half, released a short video on Facebook proving that they had the first ever legendary Pokémon in the game’s history. However, the internet is a skeptical and jealous entity so Mrs. Covey live streamed the Articuno and released the email from Niantic. The email seemed fishy especially since email misspelled the Pokémon’s name.
Niantic even issued a statement to Geek saying that they have never given anyone a legendary Pokémon.
[The Articuno] was not from Niantic. it’s either a spoof or someone hacked the game. [The company is still] looking into it. [There aren’t any] clear answers at the moment.
Still, the whole situation has caused yet another controversy that the game didn’t need; so in response Niantic removed all legendaries from the game. In an interview with IGN, a Niantic rep had this to say about the decision.
We recently noticed that a few Legendary Pokemon got into a few accounts when they shouldn’t have, To preserve the game’s integrity and as a measure of fairness, we have rectified the situation and revoked the legendary Pokemon from the Trainers’ accounts.
It’s unclear how or when Niantic will introduce legendaries into the game.