Last July, Pokémon GO was released and quickly became a smash mobile hit. But with a fair amount of real-life mishaps related to the app, The Pokémon Company is looking for new ways to make it safer. A new device might be the answer.
In an interview with Nikkei, Pokémon Company President Tsunekazu Ishihara talked about the discussions held about the game’s level of safety while it was in development. Even then, the publisher had some concerns with the app’s encouragement to leave the house while focusing on a screen.
“We intended to make a game for people to play outdoors, instead of at home. The potential that players could become too involved in playing the game [that they might walk into danger] was already an issue at an early stage.
“To avoid the danger, we also released Pokémon GO Plus, the smartphone-linked wearable device, so that Pokémon GO players [did] not have to always be looking down at their smartphone screens.”
Legions of players took to the streets to ‘catch em all,’ but the Pokémon GO Plus device was only released in limited quantities. Eventually, the device could be found on eBay, being sold at exorbitant prices.
Still, Ishihara-san went on to say that there may be plans for more:
“Together with Nintendo, we are thinking of developing a new device that can be played more safely.”
Earlier this month, the Pokémon GO‘s developer, Niantic Labs, announced that it had expanded its partnership with Starbucks to allow 5,000 of the coffee shop’s locations to be used as PokéStops and Gyms,