If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.
That is sage advice that I almost never take.
12 December 2016, could have been a big day in Pokémon GO lore. It was the day that Niantic would recapture the interest of millions of trainers who have lost that loving feeling for the game. It was the day that Niantic, in a stroke of brilliance, would tease, and then deliver on infusing life back into the game.
Let’s back up for the muggles. The alpha and omega of Pokémon GO is capturing virtual characters in the wild on a player’s smartphone. There are currently 149 characters of which, some are common as dirt, others uncommon, others rare, and a few that are almost nonexistent. There are other aspects of the game, but those are secondary to capturing ‘wild’ Pokémon GO characters.
Since its launch in July, millions of people have played the game and moved through multiple levels of the game; however, the game has lost the attention of many players (or trainers) because they have caught most of the available 149 Pokémon Go characters. When someone has reached Level 25, they have seen and captured almost all the ones that they can realistically find. By Level 25, a trainer is mostly seeing the five to ten ‘common-as-dirt’ characters, and that makes the game boring.
Rumors have been flying for a couple of months now that Niantic has been aware of the issue and was preparing to introduce the “2nd Generation” or 2nd Gen of characters, that would add about 100 new Poké creatures. Last week, Niantic updated the sound files on everyone’s smartphone app, adding 100 new files, leading to speculation that the addition of the 2nd Gen characters was imminent. Then, Niantic said that on 12 December they would make a major announcement about adding new characters. The stage was set and anticipation was building.
What happened? They apparently added eight baby characters, and gave Pikachu a Santa hat. Oh, and the new characters can’t be caught in the wild. A trainer has to take their phone for a walk of up to ten (10) kilometers to hatch an egg that may or may not have a new character inside.
Do you hear that sound? It is the deafening sound of millions of former trainers shrugging their shoulders, shaking their heads and walking away.
So what positive things can I say about Niantic’s big 12 December announcement?
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