After the unprecedented success of Pokemon Go in recent weeks, it’s unsurprising to learn that their creators, Niantic, have already begun work on a follow-up version: Pokemon Stay. Niantic CEO John Hanke elaborated on the motivation behind the new announcement. “We’re going to take everything that we learned based on initial player feedback on Pokemon Go and use that to create an even better version in the near future. For example, many people complained about having to actually get up and walk in order to catch Pokemon. We have to adapt to a new generation that is far less mobile and active than its predecessors if we are to remain relevant in the mobile applications market.”
Unlike Pokemon Go, which involves actually moving around the world to capture Pokemon, Pokemon Stay will involve sitting at home (or anywhere, really), where you explore a virtual world as opposed to the real one. “We are also aware that this may have the drawback of increasing health risks associated with obesity, however we feel that these will be more than cancelled out with the removal of risks associated with walking around distracted by a mobile device. This new app will eliminate the danger of walking into traffic, off cliffs, and–in the case of visible minorities–into law enforcement personnel.”
One of Niantic’s senior developers went into more detail about what to expect in this new version. “Essentially, you start in your home town and make your way across the map while challenging gym leaders in various towns along the way. Catching all the Pokemon will still be a key feature of the game, but we’ve also introduced a new feature: the ‘Incredible Four,’ a set of elite trainers that you can face after defeating all the gyms, located at key locations around your house (e.g. couch, toilet, other toilet, etc.). There will be a team of villains known as Team Torpedo that abuse Pokemon and try to thwart you on your adventure.”
Niantic has also released concept art for brand new Pokemon to be introduced in the game. While no official names have been revealed, among the colourful group of Pokemon are an electric rodent, a possessed piece of furniture, and a really badass and overpowered legendary Pokemon. It’s extremely bold to introduce such radical changes to games that have traditionally been formulaic to reach their current level of success and popularity.
There’s no doubt that there’s still a lot to anticipate, especially since Pokemon Stay came right out of the blue and paralyzed the gaming community. There have been some concerns among players about the compatibility of installing both versions of the game on one’s mobile phone, meaning you might have to choose between staying with Pokemon Go or going with the new Pokemon Stay. Or, in other words, “Should I Pokemon Stay or Pokemon Go?”