After a leak of some game play of Pokemon GO from Niantic CEO John Hanke’s presentation at SXSW on the game that hit Youtube, the mobile Pokemon location game has gotten more attention as of late. Pokemon Go has entered it’s field testing in Japan, and so now we are hearing from Niantic, a spin off company from Google that developed the game, on more details about GO:
The plan: To make Pokemon Go a free app in the Apple and Google stores with in-app purchases. You can also play the game with an optional device called Pokemon Go Plus. It can be worn on the wrist or stay connected to your phone via Bluetooth and perform in-game actions such as catching a Pokemon. It flashes and vibrates alerting players of Pokemon close by. Retail details on the device is so far unknown.
When: Some time in 2016
Who is involved: Nintendo, Google, and The Pokemon Company are invested in the development.
How to play:
The player travels with their smartphone to hunt for Pokémon in real locations — including famous locations, monuments and buildings called PokéStops. If you are close by to a Pocket Monster, your device or Pokemon Go Plus will vibrate to alert you.
Catching one works the same as the video game:you throw a Poké Ball at a target Pokemon by tapping your phone’s touchscreen. To find different varieties, you have to travel where it makes sense to find certain types; Water-types, for example, are found near bodies of water, rock types in mountain areas, etc. What Pokemon you find can also be determined by country. What you find in the US is different from what you can find in Ireland or Australia. Makes me wonder if Ghost type are found in haunted houses…
Trainers (that’s you,player) level up by finding more of different kinds of Pokemon: the more you catch, the more rarer Pokemon will cross your path. Players can also join up with one another and create teams later in the game and challenge Gyms. Gyms can be found found at specific places of interest all over the globe. Teams fight to claim these spots and mark by putting a Pokémon in place— or defeating Pokémon at that Gym.
So where will they make their money? In-app purchases. And the guess here is that the purchases will be different kinds of Pokeballs to ensure your chances of catching your favorites, including the fan favorite and heavily advertised Mewtwo. If they were really cleaver, you’d be able to find that legendary psychic Pokemon at Area 51 or Chernobyl.
Hopefully, international release dates will come soon as this wonderful idea for a game comes closer to completion. And once it becomes available, I will be having fun exploring the Pokemon of the American Midwest and Southern Australia.