Why has Pokémon Go created such a stir?
You could have been living on the moon this last month, and you’d still have heard of the app. As far as trends go, Nintendo have hit the jackpot – the game has had people talking, playing and coming together. Not before time for the company, whose 2015 profits were down 61%.
Despite critics saying that it’s dangerous - following numerous reports of players walking into the road, off a cliff (genuinely!), and towards other dangers – the game hasn’t suffered, with more and more people joining in as the days go by.
Pokémon isn’t a new invention – in fact, amongst many adult players, it’s the nostalgia they feel from revisiting the crazy creatures that they enjoy. A hit with the first generation, and now a runaway success with today’s youngsters…just why is it such a phenomenon?
Its newness; its uniqueness
Yes, we realise that’s contradictory when we’ve just explained the game’s heritage, but the act of mixing a traditional gam/characters with augmented reality is something that hasn’t really been seen, at least not on the same commercial scale as Pokémon.
The act of interacting with our environment is a completely new concept. Though the Wii allowed us to play games without being wired in, it’s not comparable.
The social element
How many teenagers, usually glued to their mattresses, have been pounding the streets to catch the blighters? The sharing of which characters they’ve caught, where the local Pokéstops and Pokégyms are, have brought people together – almost like a self-contained, mobile, social platform. It’s not just overtaken the conversation for teens, younger children and swathes of adults have been equally captivated. Pokémon Go is the reason total strangers have congregated on random streets. Is it a game, or a movement?! Whatever Pokémon Go is, it engages people.
Its simplicity means there’s no ‘rising through the ranks’; it’s very much ‘pick it up, get going’. No one is excluded. That total novices can join in with masters of the game is unique. To all players, Pokémon Go houses a community, and gamers genuinely want to help others exploring the app.
Health-wise, if you can avoid getting knocked down by a bus because you’re so immersed, Pokémon Go makes people active. The critters aren’t going to come to you, you’ve to get off your posterior and find them.
More dogs than ever are getting walked. People are noticing what surrounds them whilst looking for characters in their midst; gamers are coming out from behind their screens and engaging with real life. It’s active whilst being interactive. Playing the game is a real adventure.
We’ve talked about how mobile Pokémon Go is as an app, but as far as gaming is concerned, the mobile market continues to increase year on year. It stands to reason that huge brands want to make their mark, and do we ever remember those who come second? Whilst apps on mobiles have been numerous and popular – such as Candy Crush - nothing has even touched the engagement levels of Pokémon Go.
Bringing together a nostalgic brand, on a mobile basis, and adding a new area of tech...genius.