Three years ago today, Niantic and The Pokémon Company changed the world of mobile gaming by introducing the augmented reality-focused Pokémon GO.
On 6th July 2016, the app released in the US, Australia and New Zealand. Technical difficulties which came as a result of higher-than-expected early demand resulted in a delay for other regions; it started to launch across Europe the following week, with Japan coming just after that on the 22nd.
You didn't need to understand the world of Pokémon, video games, or even smartphones back then to know that this new, real-life monster-catching app thingy was taking over the world. We're not exaggerating, either; the early madness saw various countries regulate how it was to be used and even local businesses got in on the action by putting up signs and posters which targetted players who were walking by their stores.
Since its initial release, the app has seen plenty of changes and additions which have helped it to grow and remain relevant among its player base. Much requested features like player trading and battles have crept in, as well as daily challenges which drive players to log in regularly. At first, only Pokémon from the series' first generation were available to capture, but the total number of Pokémon now available is nearing 500.
We can't quite believe that three years have already passed since it first found its way to our phones, but here we are lots of calories burnt, lots of digital monsters caught, and a full, main series Switch game inspired by the phenomenon later.
Have you played the game regularly over the last three years? Feel free to share your experiences and feelings towards it in the comments below.