This is behind the hype around

This is behind the hype around "Pokémon Go“

Published on 11.07.2016

Pocket monsters in their natural environment

In the US, a new smartphone game revives the streets. Even in the middle of the night, players run through dark alleys and in parks, always in search of new virtual mini-monsters, meet in the city centers, in shopping centers.

The matching app rose to the top of the download charts from Apple and Google within a very short time, on social networks players report crazy encounters in the real world. The stock of the license rights holder Nintendo rose by more than 25 percent within a few days. More hype is hardly possible.

The name of the game: “Pokémon Go”. Who was born after the year 1985 and was influenced somewhat pop-cultural-nerdy, now says: Oh yes, of course. Let everyone else know: The Pokémon brand is not the first time the basis of a hype.

The game idea of “Pokémon” (short form of pocket monsters) is always the same: players must collect and trade monsters, and then let their monster stable compete with the monsters of other players.

Whoever wins, their monsters will become stronger and gain new abilities. Thus, “Pokémon” combines collecting addiction, the idea of multiplayer duels and building strategy to a hit cocktail, which especially children and young players can hardly escape.

Nintendo first released the game in Japan for the portable game console Gameboy in 1996 – at that time it was a completely surprising success for Nintendo. Since then, the Japanese game company “Pokémon” reissued several times, with varying success.

“Pokémon Go” can be dangerous

With” Pokémon Go”, Nintendo revives the brand and pairs it with a game concept of the smartphone world: players can no longer collect the monsters (as in the Gameboy) on the couch, but have to search in the real world. For this, the game uses GPS and the camera of the smartphone: monsters that are nearby are displayed on a virtual map.

Those who run can see Pokémons blended into reality through the camera view of the smartphone and pick them from the street. Players can meet in real-world locations to pit their Pokémons against each other for competition. This is apparently so much fun that some players are currently searching for Pokémons for their collection to spend hours searching neighborhoods or wandering through forests.

This is exactly what is currently leading to interesting and dangerous encounters in the USA: a teenager in Wyoming already found a water corpse in search of monsters. Several other players were stopped by the police at night and had to explain themselves.

And criminals discovered the game as a new source of income: in Missouri, four robbers placed a virtual tournament request for the game in a lonely parking lot and waited with gun in hand for unsuspecting players to take their smartphones and valuables from them. Other players have already been mistaken for drug dealers or caught on prohibited grounds.

In Germany, the game is not yet directly available

So far, Nintendo’s share price performance has not been slowed down by such reports. For the company, Pokémon could once again become a life-giving cash bringer. The Japanese game company had recently fallen significantly behind the competition from Sony and Microsoft in the console competition.

So far, the game is only available in the US, Australia and New Zealand in the app stores of Apple and Google-Nintendo is currently suffering from server overload and delays the launch of the international version for an indefinite period. If you still want to play the game in this country, you have to take a detour and set up your own user account with the right country of origin. Tech journalist Christoph Dernbach describes exactly how this works for Apple devices.

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