Niantic just announced that Pokémon GO will receive a referral program in the near future. The recently announced referral program will focus on returning and first-time players, similarly to World of Warcraft Recruit a Friend Program.
The program will begin to be tested in Australia (🦘), similar to how the previous functions were tested and adjusted. At this time, we don’t know the exact mechanics, but we do know the following:
- The Pokémon GO referral program will be aimed at beginning players and players who have not played in a while.
- Both you and your recommended friend will earn rewards for reaching milestones on your adventure.
- Rewards include Pokémon encounters, rare candies, incubators, and more.
Our thoughts and impressions
Pokémon GO has been on the market for almost five years, and it was only a matter of time before Niantic introduced a landmark show. Personally, I think this is a great way to re-attract old players and potentially recruit new Trainers.
The game’s population has been fairly stable over the course of the past few years, with spikes in player numbers seen only during major feature launches (Trainer Battles, Remote Raids, New Generations of Pokémon, etc.). From a business perspective, it would be foolish not to try to regain the attention of the players who left the train during 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Pokémon GO has matured a lot in recent years and proved that a mobile game can have great staying power in the modern gaming market. I don’t really see a downside to this, except for the possible influx of fake and alternate accounts, but let’s hope Niantic can engineer a game loop to counter them.
It’s also noteworthy that returning players could affect the Lucky Pokemon meta in a significant way. I like to imagine that most of us have exhausted the “Old supply of Pokémon” guaranteed by Lucky Trades. An injection of returning players could help shake this up a bit and provide a place for new players to get strong Pokémon in Lucky trades.
Let’s see how the Australian release works, especially in terms of progression rewards. Carefully optimistic!