Adesoji Adegbulu

Pokémon GO took over the World and it Still Does

I’ll have to admit here for the first time ever that I am an active Pokémon GO trainer. I am currently at Level 50 with over 350 million XP (experience points). I have caught over 220 thousand Pokémon and visited well over 160 thousand PokéStops.

This all started when I downloaded the Pokémon GO app and created a Pokémon Trainer Club (PTC) account on Wednesday, July 13, 2016. I chose to be a part of the Team Instinct (the yellow team) and still I am. #InstinctForver.

Pokémon GO was announced in September 2015 but was released on Wednesday, July 6, 2016, by Niantic (the app developer) and The Pokémon Company (owners of the Pokémon characters). The app was an instant big hit mainly because of its Augmented Reality (AR) setup. The app took over the world, sparked mass cultural response, and it still does. There were over 500 million downloads worldwide two months after its debut. It is currently the eight-highest-grossing mobile game of all time.

I played the game off-and-on for about two-plus years (2016 – 2018). I later deleted it because I was becoming too engrossed in it. Also due to the fact that it was becoming too repetitive. But then, COVID-19 lockdown came, and was looking for a game I can get engrossed in. I remembered Pokémon GO. I logged back in around August 2020 (that’s about two years of not playing the game) and I’ve been playing daily ever since! Fun fact, I was at level 29 when I stopped playing in 2018. I then went from level 29 to level 50 in 15 months of getting back to the game.

The release of Pokémon GO came with a limited roster which is the 150 first-generation Pokémon. This made the game’s “catch ’em all” kind of repetitive. Along the journey, many great improvements are being incorporated into the game. I sometimes wonder about all the things I did miss during my two years hiatus from the game. Things like Armoured Mewtwo (I still wish Niantic and The Pokémon Company) bring it back.

The game is now more structured and “complicated” which makes it more exciting than boring. There are more things to do around the main aim of “catching ’em all”. There are different Pokémon characters (including shadow forms) from more generations, new features, quests, Team Go Rocket, battle leagues, and various tasks (field research, special research). In addition, the social goal of the game – meeting new people while catching them all lead to trainers building local communities around the game. All of these help to get and retain more players which makes Pokémon GO to keep taking over the world.

Pokémon GO continues to grow. Recently, in 2022, some trainers were able to participate in the Pokémon GO Championship Series – Regional, International and World Championships.

I’ll post more about my Pokémon GO trainer’s journey. However, before we get into those, you should know that my top three favorite Pokémon are Umbreon (an eeveelution), Tyranitar and Pikachu (all if forms). Having an Eevee as one of my favorite Pokémon says something about me. I am adaptable and versatile.