Despite problems from last year, Niantic’s Pokémon GO is still a game played around the world. Hopefully it’ll fare better this year.
Niantic’s Pokémon GO had quite the mish mash of hits and misses back in 2022. From massive coding gaffes that made gameplay frustrating to the release of new pocket monsters with statistics that can break the game, I’m glad this year is off with a good start. This weekend’s Community Day bonus went off without a hitch! Although how the new pokémon is supposed to appear at stops is said to be a bug by this software developer, I hope they can leave it alone because it makes finding them easier.
I’m guessing the coders learned from their mistakes. As I look back at everything they’ve offered in the past, all I did was shake my head. Whoever wrote the code didn’t consider all the permutations, or considered the issues that would go along with “copy and overlaying” one Pokémon’s appearance (and statistics) over another, or where spawns should exist, leading to these pocket monsters disappearing off the map! As a result with the former problem, if placed in a battle environment, there would be unbalanced fights. That is, their biggest gaffe was with Zorua. This mimic was launched at the end of Community Day in early October. The lack of testing caused this Pokémon to get crazy stats and, if used in PvP battle or raids, it would break the game.
As we enter 2023, a new ‘mon for completionists is finally released! This weekend released the elusive Kecleon, and it likes hiding. Thankfully, it does not copy the abilities of another pocket monster. But, it won’t pop up unless gamers touch every spinner in hopes this invisible wonder is there.
The shakeup at Niantic Inc. cannot go unnoticed. Despite making billions one year, they’re laying off the next, and cancelling titles, like Transformers Heavy metal too.
The shakeup at Niantic Inc. cannot go unnoticed. As published on Entrepreneur 360, Tristan Rose wrote, “According to Niantic’s Crunchbase profile, Niantic, the developer of Pokémon GO, has raised $770 million over 5 rounds giving them a post-money valuation in the range of $1 billion to $10 billion as of November 23, 2021.”
And eight months later, this company is laying off workers (up to 90, according to Bloomberg) and changing priorities. In other reports, John Hanke wrote in an internal email to say this company is “facing a time of economic turmoil” and had already been “reducing costs in a variety of areas.”
The shift is unusual, and many fans are speculating.
The effect on upcoming products means cancelling them altogether. Not only was Niantic to help market and distribute Transformers: Heavy Metal, a Pokémon GO like game, but also they were to produce three other games using the same engine. Whether that’s a good or bad thing, fans can’t say. Very few people may have seen a demo. I wasn’t too excited myself when I offered my opinion about it, but I’d still try the game out. The website for this game is still online at time of writing.
Unless players are keeping tabs on the latest news, it’s easy to miss out on when specific pocket monsters will make appearances
Pokemon GO isn’t off to a good start in 2022. Players are getting a mix of both worlds; the developer of the game, Niantic, believes everyone is returning outside to play but not everyone truly is! Some parts of the world are knee-deep in pandemic woes, and are self-isolating. Also, what’s offered in the coming weeks feels tailored towards new players rather than old. Where’s those missing Pokemon for those wanting to complete their PokeDEX? And why can’t we have other options to gather coins?
Two Community Days for grabbing Spheal and Bulbasaur were not terribly exciting. According to reports, this cute walrus type beast is worthless in combat situations. It’s not recognized in the meta and it’s a shame I can’t harvest all that ivory and convert that into coins. I also get the sense the next one won’t be as exciting (confirmed in update: Hoppip? Really?) As for the plant-based pocket monster, I was semi-excited to go grinding for mega candy. I thought the shorter three-hour window made more sense so an entire day is not wasted with a game.
The battle for which faction will occupy Earth is not likely at the core of the upcoming mobile AR game, Transformers: Heavy Metal. The media’s abuzz about bringing this Hasbro property to the videogame world again, and honestly, I’m not excited. I’m more curious in when the reboot will be brought back to the screen again (recent Netflix program notwithstanding).
Niantic Inc is involved in the development cycle, and early images suggest this product may well be another Pokemon GO clone. Seattle-based software house, Very Very Spaceship (known for Truck Stars) is leading the development. This four-year-old business doesn’t have a lot of recognition to get some fans excited.
This company is a self-described, “motley crew of space faring designers, engineers, artists and storytellers from the Pacific Northwest and beyond. For the past three years, under the leadership of BAFTA winning founder Sean Vesce (Never Alone, Tomb Raider Series, MechwarriorSeries), we have been solving the problems of the unknown for incredible partners like Google, Microsoft and others. We are a tight-knit group of makers thriving in our undiscovered future, making shared game experiences in AR, VR, Geolocation, Live Streaming and more. In addition to our client work, we develop and release original indie experiments like the recent Knife 2 Meat U, available at our itch.io page.”
Considering how huge Transformers fandom is, Hasbro’s quality control division ought to squash any bumblebees.
Other features are welcomed in these pandemic times (and for winter), but it seems the increased range to touch gyms for raiding is deceased. I have to get slightly closer than stay far away. I feel an extra bump is better. Anything within a one block radius makes more sense than to tighten up.
By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
Updated: Jan 28th, 2021
Pokémon GO is off to a good start this new year. I’m playing a lot more because the first Community Day with Machop and triple stardust for every critter caught is exactly what I wanted. Toss on a Star Piece, and I was swimming in powder after playing for the full five hours. Hopefully, these types of triple offerings will pop up a touch more often.
But as for the augmented reality part of this game, I still keep the camera off. The feature still struggles with knowing the difference between three-dimensional objects, a wall and the floor. It’d be cool to see a Pikachu around the corner, and the player has to slightly chase after it in order to catch, but the various surface detection algorithms don’t work that way. This feature was supposed to roll out late last year, according to engadget, but it seems very little progress has been made. I’ve tested the option on an iPad Mini 5 and Samsung S20 FE. On both, the critter thought the curtain was a flat horizon surface–whoops!