Hold Onto Your Portable Phone Chargers: ‘Pokemon Go’ Is Primed For A Comeback

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Remember last summer when everywhere you went, massive throngs of people were staring down at their phones on corners or in parks? Streets were filled up by people from all walks of life, searching for rare creatures to catch, retailers were sold out of portable phone chargers, and your Pokemon collection dominated the conversation with friends… at least for a few days. Pokemon Go was an incredible flash in the pan. It was wholesome, fun and it didn’t last long.

By the end of August of 2016, just months after launch, Pokemon Go topped out at about 45 million active daily users then the decline set in. The lack of features or meaningful gameplay left users wanting for more. A few months later, and it was damn cold out. Who wanted to search for a Pikachu in the winter? No one, it seemed like.

Now, Pokemon Go seems primed for a comeback.

The developers of Pokemon Go, Niantic, just revealed the game has over 65 million active monthly users — impressive numbers for absolutely any game. It shows a picture the opposite of the doom and gloom most were painting months after Pokemon Go‘s release last year. It’s not at the level it once was, but with such a large user base and the potential for world domination once again, the developers are working hard to make the game that everyone wanted, and we’re close to getting it. Niantic wants all of our hearts (and dollars). Gotta catch ’em all.

Here are all the cool things coming toPokemon Go that’ll probably bring us back and ready to get mugged:

  • Since you last played, there are dozens of new Pokemon to catch and places to visit and it will all be done in decent weather. Searching for Pokemon in the dead of winter just sucked. And Niantic knows it has a seasonal game. They acknowledged as much in their latest blog post:

“With spring arriving in the northern hemisphere, players can look forward to all new cooperative social gameplay experiences in Pokémon GO that will give Trainers new and exciting reasons to get back into the sunshine.”

  • Player vs. Player and trading are finally coming “soon.” Fighting other trainers and trading your collection with friends are the lifeblood of the Pokemon games, and we all know Pokemon Go is only a fun little distraction until we have the ability to fight and trade with each other. Then things are going to get serious.
  • Users of the Silph Road forum have datamined the latest updates and found a co-op raid feature that may work like gyms, but with multiple trainers working together to take down monsters (h/t Polygon who goes deeper into the raids).
  • The dataminers also noticed a few lines of code that lead them to believe your Pokemon will have to be fed if they’re holding a gym for a long period of time, or they’ll come home.
  • A greater emphasis on teaming up with others so the game has more of an MMO feel. Meeting up with people to enter a raid together, explore together and train together will actually mean something. Imagine it — corners will be held by street toughs, staring down at their phones and considering what to name their little cat monster. Hopefully, the gangs will be themed, like the Baseball Furies in The Warriors.

So when will these new features land on the app officially? We can assume the developers are in a time crunch to get everything done before summer hits. At this point, the wait has been long enough for some of these features that should’ve launched with the game in the first place, so what’re a few more months?

When it comes down to it, I’m fine having Pokemon Go take over my life again this summer, but I need all the cool stuff before I come back. It’s the only way it’s worth the risk.

(Via Polygon)