Poke­mon

Austin American-Statesman - - BUSI­NESS -

dif­fi­culty han­dling traf­fic last sum­mer — will ful­fill long-promised ad­di­tions of sought-af­ter “leg­endary” Poke­mon and the abil­ity for play­ers to bat­tle and trade with each other, he said.

“What hap­pened last sum­mer was re­ally kind of strange, where ‘Poke­mon Go’ spi­raled out of con­trol to this level of cul­tural aware­ness that no­body ex­pected, cer­tainly not us,” Hanke said. The “ex­tremely suc­cess­ful” game now has us­age “at a more nor­mal level,” he said.

The hard-to-repli­cate game still has an en­vi­able fol­low­ing in Ja­pan, China, Korea as well as North Amer­ica, Dre­unen said.

Since the game’s re­lease, Dre­unen said, the $40.6 bil­lion world­wide mo­bile game in­dus­try has be­come flooded, and in­vest­ment may shift to mo­bile games that rely on well-loved char­ac­ters and pro­vide fre­quent up­dates.

As spring ap­proaches, there are signs of new life. Mil­wau­kee County has pre­pared for “Poke­mon Go” and fu­ture aug­mented-re­al­ity games by re­quir­ing game de­vel­op­ers to ob­tain a per­mit to get play­ers into parks.

In Maine, mem­bers of the “Poke­mon Go” 207 Face­book group have no­ticed more screen­shots from play­ers tak­ing up the game again.

Nick Fournier, a 21-yearold me­dia stud­ies stu­dent at the Uni­ver­sity of South­ern Maine, said he’s glad the com­pany has fi­nally be­gun lis­ten­ing to play­ers’ com­plaints. He de­scribed last sum­mer as a phe­nom­e­non brought on by the game’s nos­tal­gia and the tech­nol­ogy’s nov­elty that he doesn’t ex­pect to see again.

Erin Mor­ri­son, a 23-yearold school­teacher liv­ing in Greene, Maine, said she has kept play­ing through a dreary win­ter by driv­ing to places she knew had mul­ti­ple spots to catch Poke­mon.

“With the new up­date, it’s been so awe­some,” she said.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS ALAN DIAZ /

The CEO of Niantic, the com­pany that cre­ated “Poke­mon Go,” says the game is no pass­ing fad and re­mains pop­u­lar.

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