As of Sunday afternoon, Canadian Pokémon Go trainers can finally officially download the insanely popular mobile augmented-reality app. The game was released in New Zealand, Australia and the United States earlier this month, and was available to 26 European countries in the beginning of last week. Many Canadians had found workarounds to play the game in Canada before the official release, many created a US iTunes account in order to trick the servers into thinking they were in the United States. Even though many Canadians were already able to play the game before the official release, the servers still couldn’t handle the amount of new registrations on Sunday. The app’s servers were overloaded only an hour after the game became available to Canadians residents, and many players had to wait about 2 hours before they were able to create an account.
What is Pokémon Go?
Pokémon Go is a mobile app that is free to download from the Apple store or the Google Play Store. The game itself is free, but there is the option to buy so-called PokéCoins. You can use PokéCoins to buy items such as Pokéballs, Lucky Eggs and Lure Module’s – which are all items you can use in the game. You don’t really need these items; you can do fine without them. It would only help you progress a bit quicker. The game starts with creating a digital version of you. You then can pick an outfit and name for your character. Once you reach level 5, you can also pick a team for your player; Team Valor (Red), Team Mystic (Blue) and Team Instinct (Yellow). There’s not a ‘better’ team to pick, though Team Mystic is apparently most popular among Pokémon Go players. There is currently no way to change teams once you’ve chosen you preferred allegiance. The rest of the game is pretty straight forward. Whenever you walk around you’ll find random Pokémon’s popping up, you then have to click on these Pokémon and try to catch them with Pokéballs. Some Pokémon characters are harder to catch, as some are stronger than others. The next feature in the game is Pokémon Gyms, which can be accessed once you reach level 5. In these gyms you can fight against other players and earn points. If you’re the best player you can “take over” the gym. Another feature is something called Pokéstops. Pokéstops are landmarks located throughout the city. When visiting these Pokéstops you can collect items such as Pokéballs, Potions, Revive’s and Eggs. Once you’re a more advanced player you’ll also be able to collect Razz Berry’s and Lure Module’s from Pokéstops. A quick overview of what all these items can be used for in the game are as follows:
These can be used to catch Pokémon when you run into them. If you don’t have any Pokéballs you won’t be able to catch the Pokémon.
This is something you can use to restore your Pokémon when they get ‘hurt’ while battling other Pokémon in the gym.
A medicine that can bring a fainted Pokémon back to life, and restore half of the Pokémon’s HP.
Eggs need to be put into a so-called incubator. Once you put an egg in an incubator you have to walk a certain amount (either 2KM, 5KM or 10KM). Once you walked this far, the egg will hatch and a Pokémon will present itself.
– Razz Berry’s
These can be fed to a Pokémon when you’re trying to catch it. The Pokémon will then like you and will be easier to catch.
– Lure Module’s
These can be placed at Pokéstops. Once you place this at a Pokéstop, more Pokémon’s will come. Other players can also benefit from this.
The above is the basic description of the game’s features and rules. The best way to learn is just to start playing and explore what it has to offer.
Pokémon Go, a Social Media Marketing Success?
Now, how did this game become so popular? Was it successful social media marketing or was it something else? In 2014, Google released of video of an April fool’s joke called “Google Maps: Pokémon Challenge”, which is basically the game as we know it today. The game started developing in 2014, and was announced in September 2015. There was then a Japanese exclusive beta test on March 4, 2016. Later other countries (Australia, New Zealand and the United States) were also able to participate in the beta testing. The tests came to an end on June 30 and the game was officially released on July 6 in Australia, New Zealand and the United States. Other countries soon followed, but many people managed to get the game before their country’s official release. No extensive marketing campaign was used for the game. Word-of-mouth is what did the trick. Within hours all major new websites picked up on the game, and everybody knew about the new hype. Social media has been nothing but Pokémon Go for the past two weeks, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop soon. The game hasn’t been released to every country yet. Asian countries will likely be next. Niantic, the company that created the game, will have a lot of features that need to be updated in the future. Their game servers are known for crashing frequently due to the high demand of players. It’s likely that new features will be added to the game in the future. iRISEmedia is curious to see what the future will bring for Pokémon Go, and how long this hype will last. Pokémon players, go catch them all! (But be careful while you do so).
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