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The Windows Phone subreddit is having an existential crisis over ‘Pokémon Go’

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Windows Phone fans continue to remain loyal to Microsoft, but it’s looking like a Pokémon Go is giving the community a crisis of faith.

Android and iPhone users have been enjoying the fruits of Pokémon Go for the past week, but those on Windows Phone have felt left out and are trying to find ways to reconcile.

Pokémon Go has taken the world by storm. It currently boast over 21 million active users and has usurped both Facebook and Twitter in activity. Just about everyone is talking about Pokémon Go, from news casters to late night television hosts. It feels like the release of Nintendo’s Wii. But because Windows Phone holds such a tiny market share, currently at just 1.3% in the U.S., Nintendo has opted not to release Pokémon Go on the platform.

For the past year, multiple threads have popped up on r/windowsphone dedicated to Pokémon Go. But this past week, the subreddit has been absolutely flooded with topics, discussions, articles, and petitions. Just like with Snapchat, which too is vacant on Windows 10 for Mobile, the tiniest of rumors are jumping to the top.

Shock and Denial

Anyone caught in despair goes through a series of stages, the first being denial. Reddit users lamented; is there no Pokémon Go for us? One user commented “I love windows phone, but this kind of thing really breaks my heart.” It points to the struggles of supporting a struggling platform. A common argument heard these past few months are the massive number of users on Windows 10. With over 250 million Windows 10 users, surely a Pokémon Go app would make sense on the platform. Alas, that is not the case. Many pointed out that it’s not entirely fair to lump Windows 10 for mobile with the broader Windows 10 audience. Pokémon Go is a mobile app, and will only really work on mobile devices. But that fact is lost on some, and has left them feeling bitter.


Then came some serious frustration. People were mad at Microsoft for doing such a poor job attracting developers. People were mad at Nintendo for overlooking them. People were even mad at Google (which formed Niantic, the makers of Pokémon Go) for being so hostile to Windows. But really, most were just upset that they were ignored once again. User SuperLazyUnicorn put it succinctly: “No snapchat? I endured. No decent Spotify app? I endured. No Pokemon Go? Goodbye Windows Phone. That’s how I feel right now. Microsoft isn’t doing anything for this platform, there’s no reason for me to support it anymore.” It seems that missing out on another app phenomenon may be the tipping point for many.


Windows Phone fans had had enough. No longer were they to continue to remain ignored. A petition was launched, which currently has over 60,000 signatures, all in hopes of luring Nintendo.

Many started discussing the logistics of bringing Pokémon Go, which relies on Google Maps API, to Windows. One user even launched a straw poll to gauge if people would pay for Pokémon Go, which is currently free on iOS and Android. Some users even called for them to create their own augmented reality game, or support another one already on Windows Store.

Some users held out hope that Satya Nadella would try and bring Pokémon Go to HoloLens, Microsoft’s AR headset. That passing quote fueled some speculation, most of which was quickly dismissed.


Eventually, stark realization started to dawn on the subreddit. Users were noting that people were leaving Windows to jump on Android and iPhone just to get in on the Pokémon Go action. One user even called for a support group to be made to console users who felt neglected.


As the week progressed, and more users saw their friends continue sharing their Pokémon adventures, many started to accept the current situation. It’s very unlikely that Pokémon Go will be coming to Windows. Petitions and tweets aren’t going to change the minds at Nintendo and Niantic, which is currently busy trying to maintain the game’s monumental launch.

Now some users are asking that a moratorium be put on all future Pokémon Go threads; it’s not coming, so it’s probably best the speculation and false hope stop.

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