After that Google Maps/Pokemon prank a few years back , it might have seemed obvious that Niantic would strike gold with Pokemon Go. People are really into going outside to catch Pokemon on their phones.
While you’d think a large section of the population being stuck inside would put a damper on a game like this, that has surprisingly not been the case during the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite the widespread COVID-19 lockdowns, Pokemon Go has continued to operate just as well as it did before. If anything, it’s getting even better.
The reason for this success is simple. Niantic understands what needs to be done, and then they do it.
Pokemon Go isn’t just surviving coronavirus. It’s thriving. A game that’s all about going outside is enjoying a revenue surge during a global pandemic when billions of people have been ordered to isolate themselves indoors.
All the credit goes to developer Niantic, which has deftly adapted Pokemon Go to the average gamer’s new normal. Most crucially, location tracking has become so precise that you can even play on your apartment balcony.
It’s not just that Niantic is being nice to their players, it’s that they quickly identified this pandemic as a threat to their game’s survival. For Go to live on, it needed to become something new.
And that evolution isn’t over yet, as evidenced by a spate of upcoming changes announced today .
The best one is that Pokemon Go players will soon be able to participate in raids from a distance. That means you’ll be able to join other players in battles without having to leave the comfort – and government-mandated isolation – of your home.
This is one update that I hope remains in the game even after the pandemic is over. With the right post-coronavirus tweaks, remote raids could be an excellent upgrade to the base game.
Hats off to Niantic. Who would have thought Pokemon Go could master the art of keeping a real-world game going during an unprecedented global crisis?