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Niantic has revealed that Pokemon GO trainers have walked a cumulative 8.7 billion kilometers in a post on the game’s official website.

Pokemon GO originally released on July 6, 2016, and it was rife with server and tracking issues that made the game’s reliability particularly rough in the first few weeks. Largely, these capacity issues were likely attributable to the fact that the game was the most downloaded app on iTunes within its first week of release. It didn’t help that it appears the game was far more popular that Niantic had anticipated – it had been hit with 50 times higher traffic than the developers had allocated resources for.

Despite server reliability issues and a decrease in the average player step count after the first six weeks, many trainers kept on walking. Now, Niantic has released updated stats: a total of 8.7 billion steps have been walked cumulatively by players. A short illustrative video was included with the news post:

To put this number into context, Niantic has stated that this equates to 200,000 trips around the planet Earth. That’s 5,672 Apollo 11 missions, a trip to Pluto (with 1.2 billion kilometers to spare!), or a measly 0.0002% of the trip to Alpha Centauri (the next closest star after our sun).

This new number is a follow-up from an earlier data release in September when Niantic CEO John Hanke stated that players had walked a cumulative total of 4.6 billion kilometers. In just over three months, that number has nearly doubled. This works out to an average of approximately 1.58 billion kilometers a month and around 52.1 million kilometers per day.

While the game’s popularity has dwindled a bit from its explosive launch, there is still quite a bit of work going on behind the scenes. Data-mining of the app in early December showed that sound files had been added for 100 more Pokemon, support for “baby” Pokemon (which have now worked their way into the game), additional cosmetic styles for trainers, and corporate partnerships.

Do you still play Pokemon GO as often as you did when it launched? What do you think about the long-term popularity of the app? What features would you like to see added in the game? Let us know in the comments below!

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Robert N. Adams

Senior Writer

I've had a controller in my hand since I was 4 and I haven't stopped gaming since. CCGs, Tabletop Games, Pen & Paper RPGs - I've tried a whole bunch of stuff over the years and I'm always looking to try more!