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Can you believe Pokémon Go has been out for five years? The free-to-play AR game launched on July 6, 2016.
Pokémon Go became a global phenomenon, as millions gathered to explore their surroundings while catching cute creatures with friends, as seen in this 2016 Lure Party in London.
Here are 8 images to celebrate Pokémon Go’s 5th birthday
Pokémon Go launched to immediate success. The game encourages exploration, exercise, and socialization, as evidenced by these players enjoying the Sydney Opera House in 2016.
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Within its first week, the free-to-play game was downloaded more 10 million times, shattering App Store records. Here, players try it for the first time in Hong Kong.
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Even people who typically didn’t play mobile games downloaded Pokémon Go in 2016. It was a way to socialize that was accessible for many players, as seen in this 2016 San Francisco gathering.
The game generated business for local stores, as well. Companies could become Pokémon Go Sponsored Locations, like San Francisco’s Betabrand in 2016.
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As players visited famous landmarks in their area, a tight but massive community formed around Pokémon Go. Here, you can see a group playing in Madrid in 2016.
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Each year, tens of thousands of people gather for Pokémon Go Fest, in-person events held in various cities across the world, like this 2017 event in Hong Kong.
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The game is continuously updated with new features and quality of life improvements to keep players around. Pokémon Go has evolved tremendously since 2016.
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By 2020, Pokémon Go generated over $6 billion in revenue for developer Niantic, as players continue to spend real money on in-game items.
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Pokémon Go is out now on Android and iOS mobile devices.