Many mobile games have a very short shelf life - they’re hyper-popular for a few months, and then quickly burn out as players move on to the next one. But here we are, two years after the launch of Pokémon Go, and the game has more players than it ever has, outside of its first few months.
I actually stopped playing for a while - there wasn’t really anything new to do. But recently, several things have been added to the game that have brought me back. A few months ago, the company that runs the game, Niantic, introduced what they call “research tasks” - short quests like catching a certain kind of Pokémon - that can earn you chances to catch rare and powerful Pokémon. You only get credit for one task per day, so it keeps you coming back.
You can now trade Pokémon in the game too. A Pokémon can only be traded once, but you can see where it came from and who you got it from. You even get a bonus if you trade Pokémon that were caught a long way from where you are.
The other thing Niantic has added is Community Day - one day a month, one particular rare Pokémon will show up everywhere, with related research tasks and perks for catching lots of them. This last Sunday was the Squirtle Community Day, with tasks to catch five of them, with a reward of a Squirtle with sunglasses each time you complete the quest. And if you evolved that Squirtle during Community Day, you’d get a Blastoise with a particularly powerful attack. Here in Wichita, a group of people got together and rented a Party Bus to all play together on Community Day, proving the name of the day true.
As a mobile game, I never expected Pokémon Go to be going strong two years later, but with these new updates, I’m confident that I’ll be playing the game on it’s third birthday, too.