When I attend CES, I mainly go to check out the many exhibitors and all their cool products. But CES is not all about the showfloor, they also have panels, discussions, presentations, seminars and press conferences. It is rare for me to slip away from the exhibits to check out a panel, but when I received a news release email from Living In Digital Times I had to check this one panel listed within it out.
Living in Digital Times was presenting the Kids@Play/Family Tech Summit with one of the highlighted topics being, Pokemon Rises Again. It said that the panel would make a major announcement about what’s next from this worldwide sensation.
Once I read that, I made sure to mark this panel on my calendar of things to see while at CES.
The panel was only scheduled to be about 20 minutes long and would begin a little under two hours after the CES showfloor opened. Since I had some time to spare, I checked out a bunch of exhibits for an hour and a half before heading up to the panel.
The Pokemon Rises Again panel was moderated by Dean Takahashi, Lead Writer for Gamesbeat, and the speaker was Archit Bhargava, Global Marketing Lead – Pokemon Go and Ingress (Niantic, Inc.).
The panel touched upon a few topics:
• Background and history of the Pokemon Go game.
If you were not aware, the concept for the game came from Niantic’s previous augmented reality mobile game Ingress. Both games have some similar game mechanics but very different concepts.
• Guinness World Record.
Downloaded over 500 million times worldwide
• Days before launch and launch day.
They had many contingency and back up plans, but none of them prepared them for what happened on launch day and the few days after. The number of downloads and server problems were so unexpected by the company.
• First 6 months.
Many enhancements have been made since the launch. Buddy system and more Pokemon.
• The future of Pokemon Go.
Not much was really revealed at the panel. The only thing Archit did say was that updates are slowly coming, along with new Pokemon.
So there wasn’t really any big announcement at the Pokemon Rises Again panel. But it was pretty interesting to hear them talk about its creation, things that happened and bonding stories that arose from playing Pokemon Go.
Pokemon Go Update
December saw the release of Holiday Pikachu. This was a Pikachu with a Santa hat. If you were able to evolve your Holiday Pikachu, then you would get a Holiday Raichu. These were limited to the month of December and are no longer available to catch. I had a hard time finding one of these myself and caught one when I was in Las Vegas during CES, just before the event ended. Could there be more event related Pokemon on the horizon, possibly soon?
A few new Pokemon have been released by hatching them from eggs. I have only seen Pichu, Togepi, Cleffa and Igglypuff so far. Which means that Pokemon from the Gold and Silver games are slowly rolling out.
Ditto is starting to appear in the game, however it does not reveal itself until captured. Ditto has the unique power of transforming itself into other Pokemon and is in disguise making it an elusive catch.
Are three Legendary Pokemon being added to the game? Maybe. There is some possibility that Moltres, Zapdos and Articuno might be arriving in the next update to the game.
5,000 additional Starbucks have been transformed into PokeStops or Gyms, which joins the existing 7,800 locations that had started in December, part of the sponsored collaboration between the companies. There is also a new Pokemon Go Frappuccino drink you can order: Vanilla Bean Frappuccino, raspberry syrup, freeze dried whole blackberries, topped with whipped cream. I’ve tried the drink and it is pretty tasty, although the blackberry seeds are a little hard.