Pokémon GO has officially passed over 1 billion downloads. The mobile game sensation initially launched in 2016 and created a social phenomenon that got people out of their houses and into the real world in search of Pokémon. Pokémon GO uses augmented reality to put Pokémon in real-world settings.
Shortly after its launch, Pokémon GO became the most successful mobile game in history. Everyone was playing it then, with public parks filled with people hunting down rare creatures, as well as fighting in friendly duels to claim gyms. For a short while, Pokémon GO made the world a happier place, where people connected over their love for the game. No other game had such an impact on the world, and it seems that the Pokémon GO train keeps on rolling.
According to Japanese site Serebeii (via Gamasutra), Pokémon GO has officially reached over 1 billion downloads since its initial launch in 2016. Of course, nearly half of those downloads happened in its first few months: the game reached 500 million downloads in September of that year. However, half a million more people have signed up to play since then, thanks to developer Niantic's regular updates and additions to the game.
A game as successful as Pokémon GO will have its imitators. Other games with similar ideas have released, including Ghostbusters World and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. However, those games haven't captured as many imaginations, or players, as Pokémon GO. Pokémon GO players are dedicated, and new players continue to sign up, mostly thanks to recent events added to the title that introduce new critters and gameplay mechanics. Niantic has just added the evil Team Rocket to Pokémon GO, who are busy invading PokéStops. Players can now battle Team Rocket members, and if they win, they get the opportunity to get their hands on new Shadow Pokémon, which have evil hues added to their color palettes and even offer something to min-maxers with the Purification system.
It's additions like these, as well as the monthly Community Days, that keep Pokémon GO players coming back for more. These events also bring in new players, ready to hit the streets and take on the world to capture and collect all the best Pokémon. The world might sometimes feel like a divided and hateful place, but when it comes to Pokémon GO, everyone is just a trainer looking to get their next Pokémon fix.