Nostalgia for the 1990s is strong with the arrival of Pokémon GO, a new augmented reality mobile app game that allows users to catch various Pokémon by exploring the great outdoors. Though it’s barely a week old, Pokémon GO has already become the biggest mobile game in U.S. history, earning more downloads than dating app Tinder and poised to become more popular than Twitter as well.
Once again, Pokéfever is sweeping across the nation, and Nintendo couldn’t be happier. In the wake of GO‘s release, Legendary Pictures has emerged as the favorite to secure the rights to a live-action film based on the property with Max Landis eyed to pen the screenplay. Now, with San Diego Comic-Con 2016 quickly approaching, the presence of Pokémon GO is about to become much larger than initially anticipated. This year, it isn’t just the Justice League and the Guardians of the Galaxy who will be making their way to Hall H. Pikachu and friends will be joining them.
In a post on the SDCC Unofficial Blog, it’s revealed that plans for the scheduled Pokémon GO panel have been greatly altered. Originally, Niantic (who developed the app) founder John Hanke was going to appear on Thursday, July 21 in Room 25ABC, which seats around 480 people. Convention organizers have realized that the number of people interested in the game went far beyond that, and have moved the panel to Sunday, July 24 at 1:45 p.m. PST in Hall H. It’s just the latest step of Pokémon GO‘s incredible journey to the top of the pop culture zeitgeist.
At this point, details of the presentation are largely being kept under wraps. The only tease provided says that it will “examine the past, present, and future of extending games beyond the screen and reimagining reality through the lens of Ingress and Pokémon GO.” One has to wonder if Niantic and Nintendo will include some last minute additions in order to send the excited Hall H crowd into a frenzy. That room in particular has hosted some memorable Comic-Con moments of years past, so it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for the makers of Pokémon GO to give the fans a surprise or two. There’s bound to be something special at the panel.
Though the app’s rise hasn’t come without its pitfalls (security concerns, injuries, discovering dead bodies), there’s no denying it has become one of the hottest topics in 2016. The addicting pursuit to “catch ’em all” has made Pokémon GO a worldwide phenomenon, reinvigorating a brand that was seeing steadily decreasing sales in the realm of handheld games. Allowing players to use their smartphones to take part in the craze was a stroke of genius, and it’s obviously paid off in spades. The decision to shift the panel to the much larger Hall H was very smart, since now more people can take part in whatever Niantic has in store. The entertainment industry has seen several established properties return to jaw-dropping results recently, so it’s only fitting that one of the giants of gaming has joined the trend.
Pokémon GO is now available for download on Android and iOS.
Source: SDCC Unofficial Blog