Still Out There Tryin' to Catch 'em All: How Pokemon GO Won the Summer of 2016

spoiled’s breaking down Who Won the Summer? with five different features from five different contributing writers and editors. If you’re looking to see who lost the summer? We got you right here. All of these features will be found in a special edition of our newsletter which you can subscribe to on the homepage.

Despite all of the things that happened in Summer 2016, from the insane presidential debates and campaigns to the crescendo of the VMA's, the true thing that won out over all else in the public eye was Pokemon GO, hands down.

With over 100 million downloads and passing $200 million in revenue for Nintendo, this app game has shattered all previous competition in the field.

But it's not just about numbers and money. 

Here's how Pokemon GO clearly won Summer 2016.

1. It created a new adult generation of Pokemon fans

When a new game or show debuts using a nostaligc theme such as Pokemon, which first came out back in 1996, it's obviously and readily accepted by it's built-in fan base. Rarely does it bridge the gap and create a massive amount of new aficionados, and passionate ones at that.


No one was safe from this app and it formed a whole new slew of Poke-nerds. According to statistics, 40% of adults who downloaded Pokemon Go this summer were over the age of 25 and 35% of that group also confessed they have never even played Pokémon before.

2. It got people to get up and GO

Whether it be on a console or a smartphone, gaming has always been a stationary activity. However, due to the nature of Pokemon GO, in order to advance in the game, you have to physically get up and walk around. If you don't move, you don't progress. Simple.

People have even reported losing weight trying to "catch 'em all," with an average weight loss of 3.2 lbs polled. 44% have visited a historical landmark for the first time to nab a PokeStop and 10% admitted to trespassing on private property to catch a Pokemon. That's some serious commitment.

3. You don't need gaming skills to play

Since the game uses GPS and randomization to generate Pokemon, the majority of the game is based on luck and not traversing a virtual world with "Game Over" consequences. The extent of the skill you need for Pokemon Go is "throwing" a well-timed Pokeball. The skill level needed isn't very high.

Kids as young as 3 and adults over 55 have all been reported as actively playing the game, making it clear that Niantic designed this app for everyone. Even popular app games like Candy Crush require serious skill and stress at some point to move forward. This all-inclusive game changes that rhetoric.

4. It was literally everywhere

From incessant Facebook and Instagram posts about a rare catch or gym win to gathering around a PokeStop in Bryant Park with total strangers who are all looking for that elusive Clefable, you couldn't turn a street corner without seeing someone standing still and swiping up on their phone screen.


The Pokemon Go phenomenon wasn't just in the U.S., mind you. All across the world, trainers of all backgrounds took to their smartphones to try and become coveted Pokemon Masters. Rarely does something so seemingly small, like an app game, have such a huge global impact.

5. It's changed the game of gaming

Pokemon GO is a game that can’t exist on any other platform other than smartphones and has abundantly defied demographic labels. It’s a mobile game that's actually mobile, proving that gamers are happy to get off their asses and move for a game if the motivation and rewards are worth it.

It's also shown that demographics like age, gender, location and tech-savviness are not insurmountable barriers when a game is designed purposefully. It's a hybrid of advanced mobile gaming, face-to-face human interaction and actual physical movement at a level that we've never seen.

Especially in a world and time where we're all so divided by political and ideological lines, it's awesome to have something that can bring us all together, despite where we come from and what we believe, solely to have some fun. You win, Pokemon GO. Now, let's go out and catch a Gyarados.

[Feature Image Courtesy Forbes] 

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