Why Pokemon Go’s creators need to be careful or they could destroy the game

From The Washington Post:

Pokemon Go is sweeping around the world. The six-day-old mobile game – in which people wander around in the real world to find and capture the little fantastical animals known as Pokemon in the game – has sent crowds of people meandering through Central Park. It’s sending many tweens to their local post offices for the first time, and some haphazard wanderers to the hospital.

Am I doing this right? #PokemonGo pic.twitter.com/FbHOezOByy

— Alex Hirsch (@_AlexHirsch) July 9, 2016

For all the excitement around the game, what you can do in it is actually pretty limited. You can collect different Pokemon, gather items to use in the game at “Pokestops” (public places such as the the post office), or fight your Pokemon, either against your own team for practice, or another team to win their turf. But that’s about it.

More features are coming soon, however – such as the ability to trade Pokemon with your friends. Trading was a core element of the old-school Pokemon video and card games, the major way to “catch them all.” But it’s noticeably absent from the current version of Pokemon Go.

Why might this be? Edward Castronova, an economist who works on game economies, says there’s probably a simple reason – if trading isn’t done carefully, it’s one of the easiest ways to upset a virtual economy and ruin a game. Plenty of games have fallen prey to this problem. So instead of introducing trading right away, Pokemon Go’s creators probably will observe how people are interacting with the game first, and then carefully introduce trading later.

Chris Kramer, a spokesperson for Niantic, the developer behind Pokemon Go, wouldn’t say Castronova analysis is correct, but affirmed that trading would soon be incorporated into the game. “Trading is a core element of the Pokemon …

Continue Reading