In the annals of history, Pokemon Go may well be considered a passing trend, but this summer's biggest gaming phenomenon still made quite an impact on 2016. Google released a list of the top searches from 2016, and none was bigger than the meteoric mobile app that brought Pokemon catching to the real world.
Pokemon Go beat out the iPhone 7, US President-Elect Donald Trump, the Powerball lottery, and the deceased musical artist Prince as the top search of 2016. The mobile game was an instant success when first released in 2016, smashing every app record on its way to an unprecedented 500 million downloads. Parks and city squares became Pokemon Go hubs, as thousands sought out rare Pokemon in their local neighborhoods.
Although hundreds of millions of people played Pokemon Go at its peak, a combination of server issues, the loss of the game's tracker, and rampant cheating quickly took its toll on the game's userbase. After an initial hype period that far exceeded expectations, Pokemon Go's userbase settled to a respectable size closer in line to other free to play games.
While many claim that Pokemon Go is dead due to the dropoff in players, the game still has a sizable fanbase that plays on a daily basis. Pokemon Go recently teamed up with corporate sponsors Starbucks and Sprint, indicating that the game still has some momentum....or at least has a very good marketing team.
Recently, Pokemon Go began its rollout of more Pokemon into the game. With hundreds of new species of Pokemon waiting to be freed into the real world and more features on its way, time will tell if Pokemon Go will continue to delight Pokemon fans, or if it'll just be another mildly interesting footnote in the history of video games.