Do you ever wonder, why the Pokemon animal is so few on your region? what is wrong with it? Niantic, the developers behind Pokémon Go, is actually intend the game as a trial platform to test the viability of the market itself. They reused the database of user-submitted landmarks from their previous geolocation game, Ingress.

The competition in Ingress is primarily between the two opposing factions (teams) rather than between individual players, and players never interact directly in the game or suffer any kind of damage other than temporarily running out of XM (the power that fuels all actions except movement and communication). The gameplay consists of capturing “portals” at places of cultural significance, such as public art, landmarks, monuments, etc., and linking them to create virtual triangular “control fields” over geographical areas.

Street art, statues, churches and temples, and monuments are the sorts of landmarks Go turns into Pokéstops and Gyms. All of Pokémon Go’s landmarks were submitted by Ingress players, using a form that was officially closed September of last year (with a multiple-year unresolved backlog left over).

The Intel Map for Seattle, Washington, on December 2, 2012. Virtual portals (octagons with spokes), links (lines joining portals), and control fields (colored spaces) overlay a map of real geographical and civic space via Google Maps; green represents the Enlightened faction, and blue the Resistance. The space controlled by the two factions is fairly evenly matched here.

Anywhere without enough Ingress players to submit local landmarks, there’s nothing to do or see in Pokémon Go. There are few or no places to discover and nowhere to congregate. It wasn’t until I read other people’s stories about Lure Modules and impromptu Pokémon Go player gatherings — in New York, or San Francisco, or Seattle — that I even learned that it was possible. Instead, outside of these densely populated centers, Pokémon Go is about carefully husbanding dwindling resources from the few — if any — local Pokéstops, to catch the few Pokémon which do appear.

It will indeed be few Pokémon. Reddit users have discovered that wild Pokémon spawn rates seem to be tied to population density. My own experience bears this out: In several days of checking Pokémon Go as I walked to and from errands, I usually found only two or three Pokémon per mile walked. Similar like Ingress which is supported by advertising, in Pokemon Go, companies can pay for their locations to be used as portals in the game, thus making their stores a pilgrimage site for Ingress players, which may translate into real-world sales.

There are good reasons to tie Pokémon spawn rates to traffic or population density: Doing so pushes players to public places and discourages people from trespassing on private property. (Not that this is perfect; there is an infamous story about an Ingress landmark at a nuclear power plant.) However, if there aren’t any high-traffic areas at all, then there are no Pokémon to find. Forget walking out into the tall grass in real life.

If you really want to catch them all, we suggest you to go to:

  1. Germany, Vodafone offered an Ingress phone plan with a large amount of data to support the game, in addition to all its stores becoming portals.
  2. France, Niantic partnered with Unibail-Rodamco, and several of its shopping centers were incorporated in the game.
  3. USA, the Jamba Juice and Zipcar chains have both had sponsored locations in Ingress.

 

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