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Could new updates revive Pokémon Go?

By Alina Hardcastle

Recent reports have claimed that the creators of Pokémon Go are releasing several exciting features within the overnight sensation app to lure back players who have stopped playing.

Niantic, makers of the location based-augmented reality game, announced on their website that a daily bonus feature will be rolling out. This marks their latest attempt to keep users interested in the game since reports stated that US paying users declined by 79% in September.

The Pokémon Go website stated: “We are excited to let you know that the new daily bonus feature is rolling out right now. The daily bonuses reward you with [An experience point] XP and Stardust for your first catch of the day, and XP and extra items for your first Photo Disc spin of the day at a PokéStop. You’ll get an even bigger bonus if you complete these actions seven days in a row.” We also learnt that players will be able to find more Pokémon and that Pokéstops will grant more items.

The Silph Road , a network of Pokémon Go trainers online, also published that new features are expected in the next update of the app on their website. 

Will the app survive?

But will this be enough to keep users captivated? Arthur Goldstuck, managing director of World Wide Worx, feels that as much as Pokémon Go captured the public’s imagination when it first launched, leading its audience into the world of augmented reality, it has done a poor job of following the audience deeper into the real world.

”It was always obvious that usage would plummet once the Northern Hemisphere summer came to an end, and it was obvious there was massive appetite for the game elsewhere while the hype was massive in its initial markets. However, they treated the rest of the world as poor relations, in effect forcing them to 'sideload’ the gamer from unofficial sites. In effect, the rest of the world was expected to feed off table scraps, which severely damaged loyalty to the franchise. As a result, the decline of the American and Japanese hype was not going to be matched by a rise in hype elsewhere”, said Goldstuck.

He added that one of the fundamental flaws of the game in terms of future-proofing is its strong reliance on landmarks from another Niantic game for its Pokéstops, and the difficulty in having locally relevant landmarks declared Pokéstops or gyms. “They seem to have waited too long to open up the landmark options, so that when they eventually do so, they will have lost momentum. The branding opportunities of getting business involved in creating Pokéstops and gyms have also been lost.”

Goldstuck concluded that the game makers got mobile gaming spectacularly right, but seem to have failed to notice that social media breaks down the barriers of geography when it comes to creating  global hype around a product.

Insure your mobile device

Pokémon Go has also played a role in hundreds of crimes since the gaming app launched in July, according to police reports. There were 290 police incidents including robberies, thefts, assaults and driving offences which involved the app in England and Wales.

Although these occurrences have not altered South African insurance companies’ policies, Natasha Kawulesar, head of client relations at Outsurance, informs us that Outsurance offers Pokémon Go gamers Out and About cover. This will cover them for loss or damage to their cell phone anywhere in the world.

In regards to car accidents, Willem Smith, head of Hollard’s personal lines area, expresses that while Hollard would always consider all circumstance relating to such an incident, it must be pointed out that, in terms of the Road Traffic Act, it is illegal to operate a mobile device while driving; and that it would prejudice your claim if your insurer was aware you were texting or playing a game while driving.

How to get Pokémon Go

To download the Pokémon Go app go to Google play store or Apple Store.

Handy tip: Do you need a competitive quote for your home and contents insurance? If so, click here and fill out the form and a consultant will be in touch with you.

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