This past weekend weekend (July 6th to be exact), marked the 2 year anniversary of Pokémon GO, and the question always asked when discussing IVs and evolution tables out in public is ‘Are there even still people playing that game?‘
The answer is a resounding yes.
I like many a Pokétrainer dropped off of Pokémon GO at some point after launch. The first year of the game was rough, and there was little there to keep me logging back in even after the release of the second gen Pokémon. The app, like many others, received the deletion ‘x’.
Then something happened. It wasn’t the release of raid battles. It wasn’t even the release of new Pokémon. Niantic finally gave us something to do.
On March 27th, 2018 with the release of versions 1.67.2 and 0.97.2 for iOS and Android respectively, Niantic introduced a new Field Research and Special Research feature that encourages Trainers to complete objectives to earn unique rewards.
Now after collecting Field Research tasks by spinning PokéStops, evolving a water type Pokémon could net you the opportunity to catch a Squirtle, or Spinning 5 PokéStops could award you 500XP!
This alone got me to redownload the app, and revisit my Pocket Monsters that were long forgotten. My girlfriend diving back into the game in a borderline addictive manner has gotten me playing like it was the first couple months of the apps launch once again.
And we are not alone.
When we were out for this weekend’s various community events, by my account, there were more people out playing the game than ever before. For the first time, we were able to defeat a five star raid, and many of the raid battles we attempted maxed out at the 20 available spots.
As of this writing, Pokémon GO is once again the top grossing app in the iTunes app store, eclipsing mainstays such as Candy Crush Saga and Fortnite.
‘Are there even still people playing that game?’
The answer is not only are they playing, but they are paying. Gotta Catch ‘Em All!