Rain began to pour on the University of Idaho campus, but students standing near Theophilus Tower didn’t seem to mind. Everyone stared at their phones tapping away, looking around to see who would be participating in the raid battle at the Pokemon gym.
Students who were late to the gathering came running, grasping their phones with cords trailing behind. It was time to throw their pokéball and hopefully add a Pokemon to their Pokedex.
What started as catching Charmander, Bulbasaur or Squirtle in Pokemon GO turned into a popular trend. Cyndaquil, Chikorita and Totodile, a part of the Johto region, were released about a year later. Now, it’s Torchic, Treeko and Mudkip’s turn.
I’ve been catching em’ all ever since the app came out in 2016, and the Pokemon GO trend is still living on through various events. These events have been happening much more regularly, making more Pokemon available to trainers everywhere.
After Generation 2 came out, people stopped playing Pokemon GO for a while, but when December hit, the game became popular again. Generation 3 Pokemon were released Dec. 8, and it seems like that’s when Pokemon GO made its complete comeback.
Generation 3 has been released in bits and pieces ever since December. Just recently, they’ve released the rest of Generation 3 for players to catch and even hatch from their incubated eggs. When this generation came out, they announced an event where up until Feb. 13, Generation 3 Pokemon would take over wild encounters. Not only that, they announced that lure modules will last up to six hours until Feb. 23.
Besides Generation 3 Pokemon having their own events more often, other Pokemon have been a part of events as well. A special Valentine’s Day event occurred in game, in which if you caught Luvdisc or Chansey, the player would get extra stardust. Also, Niantic created an event for the Lunar New Year where players can catch Growlithe, Poochyena or Electrike to obtain bonus stardust.
Events such as these are a marketing technique to players everywhere, especially for people who’ve put down the game and haven’t picked it up in months. By the looks of it around campus, it’s working.
Furthermore, every time an event comes out, there’s another chance for a new shiny Pokemon to spawn.
Raids were added to the game as well, where Pokemon from anywhere in the Pokedex, including legendaries, would be released in gyms for people to catch. The only requirement for players is to fight the Pokemon as part of a large group, in order to have a better chance of catching the Pokemon. This is still a very popular feature in the game, but legendary raids are constantly being recycled so players can only catch certain Pokemon in a time frame.
If players want to complete their Pokedex, they have to continuously play Pokemon GO. If not, they can’t possibly catch em’ all. Until March 16, the legendary Pokemon Rayquaza will appear in Raid battles more often.
With these many updates to the game, Niantic has definitely kicked it up a notch and made the game trendy again, as well as making a profit by having more players invest in the game. Because of how many Pokemon are available, players are now forced to buy a Pokemon upgrade in the shop in to make room for more captured Pokemon. They can either purchase this by using pokecoins or their wallets.
Nevertheless, Pokemon GO is still a very great social activity for students around campus. UI social media groups are going nuts over the updates that have been occurring, meeting in areas around campus to help others catch em’ all. With the weather update as well, players are warned of dangerous weather conditions to make sure safety comes first. With snow on the ground here in Moscow, you can never be too safe. Stay safe, have fun and catch em’ all.
Lindsay Trombly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org