On May 16, Pokemon GO software developer Niantic announced on their blog that the beta testing for the upcoming game is now available in the United States.
This is good news for Pokemon fans in the U.S., who could only watch with envy as the Pokemon GO’s beta testing was made available in Japan then in Australia and New Zealand. With the availability of the beta testing in the country, U.S. fans can now personally go through the game and try the things that they used to watch on YouTube, courtesy of the videos that other beta testers have posted.
To sign up for the field testing, players can go to the Pokemon GO page on Niantic’s official website and provide their email address (Gmail addresses are usually preferred). They have to state if they own a smartphone that runs on the Apple iOS or Google Android operating system (or if they have both). They will also be asked if they had any experience in playing Ingress (the augmented reality game that Niantic had developed) and, if they did, they need to state the highest level that they had attained in the game.
However, as Niantic reminds everyone, submitting an application for field testing doesn’t automatically mean that players would get accepted as beta testers. Niantic will still have to go through the applications and decide who would field test Pokemon GO.
If an applicant gets chosen as a beta tester, he will receive a copy of Pokemon GO so he can observe the gameplay. He will then need to send his feedback to Niantic and state which parts he likes and which ones he feels should be edited or removed. He will also have to give suggestions on how Pokemon GO should be improved as a whole.
Niantic strictly reminds beta testers to keep information to themselves and not share the contents of the game to other people. This way, the developer can maintain an element of surprise and keep the public curious about Pokemon GO. Unfortunately (or fortunately!), this reminder has not stopped beta testers in Japan, Australia, and New Zealand from making gameplay videos and writing about their experiences with the game on online forums.
Rumors say that Pokemon GO will be launched in summer 2016 if everything goes well and if the beta testing won’t uncover any major bugs that would have to be fixed before release. However, Niantic and The Pokemon Company have not made any official statement about this, so this release date remains to be a rumor.
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