Pokemon GO has reached a point at which reading news, checking Reddit, and waiting for Valentine’s Day (or whatever other event is next) has gotten old. Niantic’s lack of a significant update is a clear message to hardcore users. That message is, as the ODB might have said, “Niantic is for the children.” In other words, a large amount of players don’t play because of software updates or additions to the game, they play because they’re kids and don’t know the difference.
Pokemon GO was brilliant at its beginning for all players, as evidenced by the massive shockwave of influence the game had on the year 2016, in mobile gaming and beyond. But for those people that’ve been playing since launch, there’s little to do in the game save inch toward a point where no advancement can be made. Niantic never built in an ultimate goal. What they did not do – and should have done – was to build in a sort of RESET button.
Several major games have replay value not because they’re significantly different each time they’re played, but because they’re re-playable. Take for instance Titanfall. Once a user has reached a certain personal level in Titanfall, they have the option to hit the reset button, so to speak.
Each time the reset button is pressed in Titanfall, the player has a higher overall player level – and a chance at new, more difficult-to-attain badges. These badges are displayed for all players online to see. Players can play until the cows come home and go higher and higher up the badge tower.
Why doesn’t Pokemon GO have this sort of system in place? I believe it’s because Niantic never planned for the game to be as popular as it’s turned out to be. With a staff as small as Niantic’s it’s difficult to scale up in any proper sort of way to keep up with the demands of millions of users.
As such, whenever Niantic needs to concentrate on a new element in the game, most other elements seem to fall by the wayside. Recently Niantic engaged in their South Korea re-release as well as attempting to save the entire planet from climate change. Take a peek at the last few bits of communication from Niantic on Twitter and you’ll find Forest Whitaker and Jamie Oliver spinning PokeStops in support of the World Economic Forum’s Global Goals / Pokemon GO team-up.
For those Pokemon GO users hoping to re-capture the spirit of the original release her in the United States, there is only one option. Open a new Pokemon GO account by signing up for a new Nintendo account – or by making a new email address. I did it. I started with Pikachu just to make sure this run felt as new as possible.
What with the initiation bonuses and ability to level up quicker now with the knowledge I’ve gained over the past year, this run has been entirely entertaining. Nothing can really bring back the global wonder that was the first launch of this game, but starting from scratch makes my own personal experience feel new. For everyone else, there’s still hope for Valentine’s Day and Easter.