The Evolution of Pokémon GO: A Survey of Finnish Player Experiences

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


In this article we unpack responses (n = 1,741) by Finnish Pokémon GO players to an open-ended survey question “how has your experience of the game changed throughout the time you’ve played it?” The survey, conducted in 2019, provides insights into players’ attitudes towards Pokémon GO’s evolution in the first three years since its release. We analysed the data using thematic coding, producing 61 codes grouped under eight broad categories: content, way of playing, significance, nature of the game, social aspects, perceptions, demands and context. Our findings highlight players’ reaction to changing demands from the game as it incorporates new content, becomes more social and its player base solidifies, producing a complex and sometimes contested affective relationship with the game and the wider community of players. In the era of service-based game development where game companies struggle to keep their games engaging and profitable years after launch, our study offers a broad and diverse view into post-launch changes from the perspective of the players.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Games Criticism
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • free-to-play games
  • games-as-a-service
  • location-based games
  • player studies
  • Pokémon GO

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1


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