Pokémon Go is an augmented reality (AR) game developed by Niantic for iOS and Android devices, initially released in select countries in July 2016. The game is the result of a collaboration between Niantic and Nintendo by way of The Pokémon Company. It uses the mobile device GPS to locate, capture, battle, and train virtual creatures, called Pokémon, which appear as if they are in the player's real-world location. The game is free to play; it uses a freemium business model and supports in-app purchases for additional in-game items. Pokémon Go was released to mixed reviews; critics praised the concept, but criticized technical issues. It was one of the most used and profitable mobile apps in 2016, having been downloaded more than 500 million times worldwide by the end of the year. It is credited with popularizing location-based and AR technology, promoting physical activity, and helping local businesses grow due to increased foot traffic. However, it attracted controversy for contributing to accidents and creating public nuisances. Various governments expressed concerns about security, and some countries regulate its use. Despite its mainstream popularity dwindling by the end of 2016, its overall download numbers increased to over 750 million a year.
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