It's almost two years since Pokemon GO went out and the world went crazy for it. I still remember watching groups of players stumbling around the harbour near where I live to collect some rare water-based monsters. That was always the wonderful thing about Pokemon GO, it brings people together.
And with the new updates announced recently, that appears to be something that Niantic understands. But the upcoming anniversary has got me thinking - what does the game need to do to keep going strong for another two years?
That's what we're going to think about in this article. But feel free to share your own suggestions, we'd love to hear what could keep you playing, or start you playing, the game that defined AR on mobile.
Stay the best
It's fair to say that, while other AR and location-based games have come out since Pokemon GO landed, none of them have managed to capture an audience quite so well. In a way, that's good for Niantic, but it also means that there's no real competition for the game, which could lead to stagnation.
Currently the game sits fourth in the charts for top-grossing games, with only Fortnite, Candy Crush, and Clash Royale above it. Its closest competitor is Jurassic World Alive, which is way down at number 35 just a couple of weeks after it came out.
Part of that is likely down to Pokemon GO's lasting appeal. While people might get excited about catching dinos when there's a new film's out, people who love Pokemon love them all the time, with little thought for what that might mean for their social status.
But if the game is going to retain its place at the top of the AR tree, it's going to have to be supported. We've seen plenty of content, and events, for the game in the past two years, but to keep things exciting for the players who put the most time and money into it, the content is going to have to be refreshed on a regular basis.
Obviously there are some big Pokemon games on the way for the Switch, and it's going to be interesting to see how GO ties in with them. Not just in the short term, but for the long haul as well. It'd be great to see the game reflecting new content for the console experiences, and maybe even vice-versa.
There's so much Pokemon stuff in the world, that it does feel a bit like Niantic is missing a trick. There are lots of connections to be made, bringing people into the game and enticing them into playing other games or buying different items. Pokemon GO could well become a merchandising goldmine if it's handled right.
Don't keep up with the times
One problem with mobile gaming is the speed at which handsets are replaced. Every year there's a new iPhone, and every year older models get pushed further down the pecking order in terms of updates and more. That's something that Pokemon GO is going to have to consider if it wants to keep its crown.
Plenty of people are on two year contracts, which means while they might be about to get a swanky new blower now, in two years they'll be a couple of generations behind. And the pace of change means two generations might soon mean a lot more than it does now.
Pokemon GO needs players, and if they can't log-in because the hardware they've been playing on for a while is no longer compatible, well that's going to end up causing a lot of problems in the long run.