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In this Friday, July 22, 2016 photo, a Pokemon Go player attempts to catch Charmander, one of Pokemon's most iconic creature, in New Delhi, India. (AP Photo/Thomas Cytrynowicz)
In this Friday, July 22, 2016 photo, a "Pokemon Go" player attempts to catch Charmander, one of Pokemon's most iconic creature. (AP Photo/Thomas Cytrynowicz)

Pokemon GO has launched a big Halloween event. Will that bring back angry fans?


Pokémon GO - Halloween Is Approaching...

WATCH  | Remember when Pokémon GO took over your entire summer? It's back, with a Halloween event that promises more chances to catch rare Ghost and Psychic Pokémon, plus more in-game Pokémon candy.

The event started Wednesday and runs through Nov. 1.

This photo of a normally rare Gengar shows it might be off to a good start.

Pokemon Go is displayed on a cell phone in Los Angeles on Friday, July 8, 2016. Just days after being made available in the U.S., the mobile game Pokemon Go has jumped to become the top-grossing app in the App Store. And players have reported wiping out in a variety of ways as they wander the real world, eyes glued to their smartphone screens, in search of digital monsters. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

What happened to this game?

Haven't played in awhile? You're not alone.

Just how big did this get?

The game became the top app in both the iOS and Google Play stores almost immediately after it launched, but has now fallen to #91 on iOS and #60 on Google Play, according to App Annie

It's still making tons of cash (it's the #1 and #5-grossing app, respectively), but the app's average rating is a dismal 2.5 stars.

It's still clearly popular, but it's not seemingly everywhere, like it used to be.

An update gone horribly wrong

When the game originally launched, a "tracker" showed how close nearby Pokémon were. It was a simple "hot or cold" system, but it felt like the player was actually tracking down the little monsters. Other companies jumped on the opportunity and built trackers to hunt down rare Pokémon. 

Those trackers, according to game developer Niantic, taxed the game's servers so badly that it affected the game's performance. So it removed the game's tracking system so other companies couldn't use it. 

Why that change mattered

It seems like a simple change, but Niantic never offered a replacement. And that left hardcore players dismayed and frustrated with a game that still hasn't delivered on many features promised in its trailer, like trading Pokémon and battling strangers. 

Business Insider captured the moment the Pokémon GO subreddit hit peak depression, with top-voted posts titled "Is anyone else just sad?" and "This is the most depressing sub on Reddit."

Discover Pokémon in the Real World with Pokémon GO!

WATCH  | This was the game's initial trailer in September 2015. It's a far cry from the game's current state.

The lingering problems

The game had lingering problems once the initial shine wore off. Pokémon were more popular in big cities, and rural players were left in the lurch. Considering Pokémon tended to favor the wilderness in past games and the anime series, this seemed confusing. 

It also took a tremendous amount of time to level up Pokémon and the player's character. Hackers exploited GPS spoofers to gain an edge. It looked like the game wouldn't achieve the longevity some assumed it would (including me. Whoops.)

But the fervor around the Halloween event might be helping. 

Even Reddit is happy! 

The game's subreddit, which just days ago was remarkably negative, seems to have turned a corner. One of the top posts is titled, "From "Fuck you Niantic" to "FUCK YES NIANTIC!" all in the span of 48 hours."

And dataminers reported to PokemonGoHub that there was code for daily "quests" in the game, which could give longtime players more reason to boot up.

Even a change in the loading screen seems to have revitalized fans.

The game still has its haters.

But others are about as happy as this Haunter and Gengar. 

Are you still playing Pokémon Go?

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