Pokémon Go is a free-to-play, location-based augmented reality (AR) game developed and published by Niantic for iOS and Android devices. It was initially released in selected countries in July 2016. In the game, players use a mobile device’s GPS capability to locate, capture, battle, and train virtual creatures, called Pokémon, who appear on the screen as if they were in the same real-world location as the player. The game supports in-app purchases for additional in-game items.
Pokémon Go was released to mixed reviews, but enormous popularity. Reviewers praised the game’s concept and the incentive to be more active in the real world, while criticizing technical issues apparent at launch. Despite such reviews, it quickly became an overnight global phenomenon and one of the most used mobile apps, reportedly having been downloaded by more than 75 million people worldwide. It was credited with popularizing location-based and augmented reality gaming, as well as for promoting physical activity. However, it has also attracted controversy for contributing to accidents and becoming a public nuisance at some locations.