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The Future of Digital Entertainment: Four Lessons from Pokémon Go

The Future of Digital Entertainment: Four Lessons from Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go may not seem like an obvious place to look for auguries, but the phenomenal and unexpected success of the app can tell us a lot about the times we’re living in, and some trends to look out for in the near future.  I gazed into my crystal Poké Ball to bring you 4 digital entertainment predictions from the most popular app of 2016.

1. Get ready for more ‘90s-kid nostalgia
One of the reasons Pokémon Go has been such a huge success is that it taps into the childhood nostalgia of millions of millennials.  How could any ‘90s kid forget those halcyon days, when they knew the PokéRap off by heart and pestered their parents for overpriced trading cards?  Now those kids are all grown up and have purchasing power of their own, and they’re hungry for digital entertainment which harks back to the iconic franchises of their youth.  Pokémon Go is not the only brand to have capitalised on this realisation.  Netflix’s newly-released TV adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events is similarly designed to appeal to up-and-coming millennials who still remember the terror and delight of Lemony Snicket’s original 13-novel epic.

2. AR is where it’s at
Forget the Oculus Rift, and VR gaming experiences so real you can practically taste them.  What everyone loves about Pokémon Go is the chance to catch a Jigglypuff on the toilet.  There’s just something about the integration of cute animated characters into real life which is endlessly entertaining.  It’s the same appeal which is captured by Snapchat’s much-cloned filters, which allow you to transform yourself into a cartoon dog or swap faces with your best friend.  The injection of a little cartoon wackiness into cold, hard reality is an instant crowd-pleaser: expect to see even more of it in 2017.

3. Efficient procrastination is the future
Another factor which has aided Pokémon Go’s stratospheric levels of success is its location-based gameplay.  Most phone games are designed to consume all of your attention- attention that you should probably be spending on other things, like all that work you’ve been putting off.  For this reason, they’re often the first thing to be sacrificed on the altar of efficiency drives and new year’s productivity resolutions.  Not so Pokémon Go, which is designed to be played while out and about doing other things.  The game fits perfectly into those little gaps in your day- while walking to work or popping to the shops, for example- when you’re not doing anything else, allowing busy people to compartmentalise even their procrastination.  This is a winning tactic which other apps will be sure to follow.

4. Wearables are here to stay
When even Pokémon Go has its own wearable, it’s time to take note of the trend.  The global wearables market is predicted to exceed USD $30 billion by 2020, and there’s a wearable for pretty much everything: monitoring your baby, keeping an eye on your alcohol intake, and now, with the introduction of Nintendo’s Pokémon Go Plus, tracking and catching everyone’s favourite pocket monsters.  The elusive wristband was sold out almost before stocks hit the shops, a sign which bodes well for the future of wearable accessories.  Look out for an increase in both consumer interest and the range of products available in 2017.

Written by: Louise Carey 

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