The fall is a magical time for gamers. Like the summer for movies, the fall is the beginning of the big gaming release season. This year, however, the summer brought about two of the biggest phenomenons in gaming history: Pokémon GO and No Man's Sky.
Pokémon GO Changed Everything, But Its Popularity Is Already Dropping
Pokémon GO did something no game had ever accomplished. It made millions of gamers get off their couches and head out to explore the real world, using a geocaching mechanic never before utilized in mainstream games.
It released in early July, and within a few days, was already rivaling Twitter for daily users. Unlike social media, GO actually got people socializing with each other in real life. The sheer number of players shocked even developer Niantic, who has been scrambling to improve servers and gameplay since day one.
But while millions of people are enjoying exploring our world, many have set their sights beyond that. In less than a week, excited pilots will be able to hop in the seat of a starship and boldly go where no one has gone before: any one of the 18 quintillion planets and all the space in between, to be exact. With about 585 billion years of possible gameplay time, No Man's Sky will certainly provide ample exploration opportunity.
The real question, of course, is whether No Man's Sky will cut into GO's momentum.
The much-anticipated No Man's Sky already has a strong following based on hype alone, and many players grew up dreaming of exploring and discovering faraway planets like Captain Kirk or hopping in a starfighter like Luke Skywalker. Much of this audience overlaps with the similarly nostalgic one of Pokemon GO, who always wondered what it'd be like to go on a Pokemon journey.
With GO's recent tracking troubles, the game has taken a major hit right now to their audience that could permanently affect their number of active players.
But can a console/PC game really make a dent in a mobile game's audience? After all, they're not generally considered competitors, as mobile gaming, and GO caters to a far more casual audience than most console and PC games.
No Man's Sky doesn't seem like the type of game that would cut into the casual audience all that much.
If you really have to choose, however, there really is only one way to compare them. Both of these games could help you live your childhood dreams of exploration and adventure. So when it comes time to pick where your time goes, just look to your inner child for advice.
No Man's Sky releases August 9th.