While the fervor surrounding Pokémon Go has certainly died down from the fever pitch of its launch, the mobile game has continued to rack up downloads over the years. According to The Pokémon Company, the game has officially passed one billion downloads since its launch. The company announced this via a series of videos released to its Japanese YouTube channel. The videos were first noticed by Nintendo Wire.
Pokémon Go released back in July of 2016 and promptly took the world by storm. People mobbed rare pokémon in public spaces, wandered the streets at odd hours, or even constructed drones to reach inaccessible pokéstops. By September of 2016, the game had amassed over 500 million downloads, but that growth tapered off as enthusiasm diminished. Many people took the downturn in popularity as validation that the game itself was no more than a passing fad. Despite that perception, the game went on to find a steady, long-term base of support among its fans. One of the latest estimates puts the number of active users playing Pokémon Go just shy of 150 million.
Niantic has attempted to capitalize on this popularity a number of times over the years, with a relaunch of their first GPS-powered AR game called Ingress, an anime series for Ingress on Netflix, and the recent launch of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. All of these have met with moderate success, but nothing on the level of Pokémon Go.
Much of the unique success Pokémon Go has experienced can be directly attributed to the way Niantic has released a steady stream of updates and new content to the support their mobile title. New pokémon, new ways of battling, more items, and friend support have continued to give life to the game over the years. On top of that, the real-world component of Pokémon Go means that the meet up events Niantic has put together have been huge successes, giving players a new way to socialize and enjoy their shared love of the game. Combine that with the almost universally beloved license of Pokémon and it being the first game of its kind to find mainstream popularity.
The latest event to come to Pokémon Go celebrates friendship and the ever-beloved tradition of gift-giving. Starting on August 5 at 4PM ET Pokémon Go players will receive rarer Pokémon from gifted eggs - and those eggs will be only 2km eggs instead of 7km! With hatching being so much easier, Niantic chose this event as the perfect time to release the shiny Bonsly variant and Sudowoodo, giving players the perfect opportunity to get their hands on these precious woodland pokémon. Additionally, players will be able to hold 20 gifts in their inventory and open 30 gifts per day. This temporary expansion of gift holding and opening abilities will only last until the end of the even on August 19 at 4PM ET.
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