Pokemon GO has slowly rolled out in Europe this week, starting in Germany, before hitting the UK and other nations.
The game has already had a profound impact on Nintendo, despite them only offering limited support to developer Niantic, with their share price rising by over 70% this week alone.
Despite some server hiccups, the game is generally stable, despite the masses of people playing it. My own experience has seen hundreds of people all over London playing. From the streets of the City, the hustle and bustle of Zone 1, right the way out to more residential areas, Londoners are glued to their phones. They’re all hunting down new Pokemon, finding Pokestops, and battling at Gyms. I’ve honestly never seen anything like it.
Gamers Getting into Trouble!:
The game has also created a number of headline news stories across Europe and the rest of the world. Reports came in showing players coming across dead bodies, getting stuck in caves, or getting thrown out of the Holocaust museum and Auschwitz for playing. Pokestops are located almost anywhere, and are being used for both good and ill. In the UK, the Church of England is encouraging players to come inside. However, news stories have also reported nefarious players leaving traps outside other stops.
It’s amazing how the game brings people together too. Many people are joining up with strangers to hunt down rare Pokemon. Unusually for a game, it also encourages exercise. I’ve walked around 2000 extra steps a day since the game came out on Thursday. At the moment, the actual ‘game’ part is relatively light, but developer Niantic has promised updates.
Pokemon Go has already become the most concurrently played game ever in the USA. GamerKnights will keep reporting over the coming weeks. We’re as interested as anyone to see if this global phenomenon can be sustained!