Remember how huge Pokémon GO was when it came out? We’ll show you

Remember how huge Pokémon GO was when it came out?  We'll show you

Pokémon GO celebrated its 6th anniversary this summer. We at MeinMMO took this opportunity to look back at the beginning of the game. We’ll show you how big it was back then.

What is Pokemon GO? The augmented reality game, which revolves around the little pocket monsters from the Pokémon anime, celebrated its release on July 6th, 2016. Unlike other Pokémon games, however, the developers at Niantic had set themselves the goal of bringing the monsters into reality a bit.

So from the start, one of the most important pillars of the game was to send the trainers out there and explore their surroundings. In the meantime, 6 years have passed since the release and Pokémon GO is still very popular with many players.

This is a good opportunity for us to look back at the early days. In the following, we will show you what it was like to catch Pokémon in this game in 2016 and 2017 and what hype Pokémon GO was going through at the time.

The Pokemon GO hype

After Pokémon GO was officially released on July 6th, 2016, a big run followed on this game. Millions of trainers downloaded the game from the app stores and went on the hunt for the little monsters. In 2016, Pokémon GO was the most downloaded app from the App Store.

But Niantic obviously didn’t expect this demand at first, because the servers weren’t designed for so many players at the time and there were problems, which is why the game started in Germany and in numerous other countries like Japan, finally a few more days in coming.

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Mass gatherings due to wild Pokémon

And this hype about the new Pokémon game continued. It felt like people took the lyrics from the anime to heart and now they wanted to be the very best. Of course, the trainers wanted to catch as many monsters as possible.

This was also shown by the numerous migrations to various public places that took place in the first few months after the release. For example, on July 14, 2016 at 11:00 p.m., hundreds of players gathered in Central Park because a wild Aquana suddenly spawned there.

According to reddit user nyfilexs, a similar crowd could also be observed in New York because of a wild lapras:

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And in Japan, too, crowds of players made the pilgrimage to Tsuruma Park in Nagoya in the middle of the night, hoping for a special Easter Egg there. The park looks similar to a Pokéball from above, which is why the rumor spread on social networks that you can catch the coveted Mewtwo there.

Such images are difficult to imagine for players who have only started playing the game in recent years. If you look around outdoors at the moment, then such mass gatherings because of a wild Pokémon are probably the exception.

This is mainly because most of these monsters have now become commonplace. Rare Pokémon in particular are minor exceptions. An example of this was found at the GO Fest 2022 in Berlin. Hundreds of players were also striving there at the same time for a perfect relaxo with a hat, which with a bit of luck could also be caught as a shiny.

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The costumed monster was only available as part of these live events. Of course, I did not miss this event and in the following article I will explain what I particularly liked about Berlin:

Niantic, your Pokémon GO Fest in Berlin was absolutely brilliant – I would attend again in a heartbeat

Respect for public places

However, the high demand for the game in the real world also led to problems. So these trainers suddenly found themselves on their hunt for the little monsters in places that are not at all intended for such a hobby, such as police stations or cemeteries.

For this reason, some public places, such as the memorial in Auschwitz, were gradually removed from the game, especially to preserve piety.

First shinys and legendary raids

The first shinys: After a few updates, features and events later, the first Shinys were finally introduced in March 2017. As part of the Water Festival, players were able to encounter dazzling Magikarp and Gyarados for the first time. This marked another important milestone on the path of the game as we know it today.

Release of Raids: Almost a year after the release of Pokémon GO, the popular raid battles were finally integrated into the game. While at the beginning you could only fight against “simple” bosses in the pink and yellow eggs, on July 22, 2017 at the GO Fest in Chicago, the legendary raid bosses were finally released in the game.

There was a global challenge in which trainers around the world had to catch a certain number of Pokémon in different time windows in order to unlock the level 5 raids. That was done and for the first time Lugia and Arktos could be caught in the game.

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As in the previous months with the wild Pokémon, this led to a big run on the legendary monsters in the raids. A trainer’s YouTube video shows how many people wanted to secure the first Lugia for GO Fest:

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And even today, Shinys and Legendary Pokémon are still some of the most coveted monsters in the game. However, even here the hype has decreased somewhat. Not least due to the possibility of long-distance raids, which were introduced as part of the Corona bonuses 2020, many trainers are now playing a little less on site.

Instead, they can be invited abroad or to other regions for joint raids with friends. This is handy because it also allows you to secure regional Pokémon that usually don’t exist in local raids.

But even in 2022, this can still lead to large crowds and long queues, as the ultra beast Kaguron shows.

How long have you been playing Pokemon GO? Did you experience the 2016/2017 hype about the new Pokémon, Shinys and legendary raid bosses yourself? Would you wish that time back? Or do you think it’s better that you can now raid from home in a relaxed manner? Let us know here on MeinMMO in the comments.

But even in 2022, the game is constantly changing. Finds show exciting new content that indicates new items and raids.