Pokemon GO fest

Pokémon GO evolves into Paladea: a new era in AR gaming

By William Davis


Dec 19, 2023

Reading time: 4 min

What feels like a lifetime ago, back in the summer of 2016, Pokémon GO took the world by storm. This was significant in a number of ways that relate to the game franchise itself and the way in which our experiences of the online world are articulated with augmented reality. Pokémon GO introduced millions of players to the concept of augmented reality (AR) gaming. For the first time, people were stepping outside their homes, exploring their neighborhoods, and interacting with virtual creatures in the real world.

It was a phenomenon that reshaped mobile gaming and brought people together to pursue Pokémon. But it also changed how we view the world and the transformative capacity of augmented reality. Now, several years later, a new contender has emerged on the AR gaming scene, and it goes by the name Paladea. In this article, we’ll delve into the evolution of Pokémon GO into Paladea, exploring how it represents a new era in augmented reality gaming. 

The Pokémon GO legacy

Before we look at the Paladea phenomenon – and indeed to understand it – we need to appreciate the impact of Pokémon GO. Niantic, Inc. developed the game in collaboration with The Pokémon Company, and it’s a truly groundbreaking AR game that allows players to embark on a journey to capture, train, and battle Pokémon in the real world. The game transformed ordinary parks, landmarks, and local businesses into PokéStops and Gyms, where players could gather essential items and engage in battles.

Pokémon GO’s success can be attributed to a number of different factors. These are mostly a delicate balance of combining nostalgia, social interaction, and outdoor activity. Players of all ages found themselves reconnecting with the beloved Pokémon franchise from their childhoods while simultaneously forging a new type of gaming community and exploring their surroundings in a different way. However, as with any game of this type, there were limitations and challenges that became apparent over time. Still, the revolutionary nature of the game and its success means these are largely forgivable problems.

The evolution of Paladea

Developing the game further was the next logical step. Everybody, from those playing poker online to the hardcore Pokémon fans, was recognizing the potential of augmented reality gaming and the desire for innovation within the gaming community. Soon, Niantic began developing a new project known as Paladea. This game aimed to address some of the shortcomings of Pokémon GO while taking the concept of AR gaming to the next level: 

  • Improved augmented reality: Paladea boasts significantly more enhanced AR technology, allowing for more realistic and immersive interactions with the virtual elements that play out in the real world. Players noted that the Pokémon in Pokémon GO often felt like they had just been overlaid onto the environment, whereas Paladea’s Pokémon blend seamlessly with the surroundings of the game and the real world.
  • Storytelling and lore: While Pokémon GO always had a basic storyline, Paladea has taken the storytelling element of the game to a whole new level. It introduces a very intricate lore and weaves a story that players can fully immerse themselves in. This change is a welcome one that adds depth to the gaming experience and enhances the potential of augmented reality as a storytelling device within the gaming world.
  • Customization and personalization: Another element that players of Pokémon GO often felt was lacking was customization. Customization and personalization are great ways to engage players further with a storyline. Paladea offers a far more extensive set of options for character customization, enabling players to create unique avatars that reflect their own personal preferences. This level of personalization fosters a deeper connection between players and the game’s world.
  • Advanced social features: Building off of the social aspect that made Pokémon GO so successful, Paladea offers a further improved set of communication and collaboration tools. Players are now able to join forces, form guilds and strategize together in order to conquer in-game challenges. Just as Pokémon have always had different forms and evolutions, Paladea introduces a new, evolving ecosystem. Creatures will now adapt to their surroundings as well as player interactions – this should create a dynamic and ever-changing game world that keeps things fresh. 
  • Playing Paladea: Playing Paladea is akin to stepping into a fully realized alternate reality and is certainly a big step forward from Pokémon GO. As you explore your surroundings, the game world seamlessly merges with the real world, making it very easy to forget where the virtual ends and the real begins. The creatures in Paladea are considerably improved from those of the days of Pokémon GO. The creatures are not just pixels on a screen; they inhabit your world, responding to environmental cues and interacting with other players and objects in dynamic ways. This level of immersion is what AR gaming enthusiasts have dreamed of for years, and tells us a lot about where things are heading in terms of AR and the gaming world.

As we look to the future of AR gaming, it is clear that we can expect even more innovation and creativity. The success of Paladea serves as a real testament to the potential of the medium, and it’s only a matter of time before we see more games that capture the hearts and minds of players around the world. So, whether you’re a seasoned Pokémon GO player or new to the world of AR gaming, it is certainly worth delving into a new adventure in the world of Paladea to get a taste of what is on the horizon.


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