With the announcement of a new Pokémon Go in game event for the equinox, let’s take a look back at the revolutionary game and how it changed the videogame industry.
During the summer of 2016, Pokémon Go was released to the world. An immersive augmented reality Pokémon game in association with Niantic that became a global cultural phenomenon the moment it was launched for smartphones. The effect Pokémon Go had on the Nintendo brand was immediate as within the first week Nintendo’s shares rose by 25% as investors could see the games’ potential and impact.
Pokémon Go managed to attract a wide audience thanks to the mixture of nostalgia and innovative technology. Millennials were lured back into the Pokémon universe as it allowed them to revisit their youth. However, nostalgia itself would not have been enough to attract the scope of users that Nintendo were aiming for, however when paired with technologically advanced gameplay it allowed the nostalgic elements to be updated into today’s society and capture a brand-new era of Pokémon users.
Players can catch their favourite Pokémon characters in real time using elements of augmented reality that allows users to experience the gameplay in a personal manner. In addition to this, there is an element of teamwork and collaboration as players are split into one of three teams and are able to play together to take over gyms and battle other Pokémon. Newer updates allow players to come together in teams to in raid battles to battle and defeat boss style enemies.
This, along with the creation of Pokémon hotspots scattered globally where players gather to catch the Pokémon, has enabled the emergence of a socially rich brand community. Therefore, Nintendo has allowed for Pokémon to embed itself strongly in the minds of their consumers and help to strengthen their value proposition.
Some people may consider Pokémon Go a fad and no longer popular now that the hype has died down, however Nintendo are still able to create unique marketing experiences for players that are still immensely successful. For example, Pokémon Go fest took place this year in Chicago in July garnering roughly 20,000 attendees and was sold out. Whilst the event was heavily scrutinised as guests had troubles with their mobile services making the game virtually unplayable, the huge turnout still indicated a loyal fanbase that are dedicated to the game.
Pokémon Go is one of the leading games in the augmented reality industry and as technology develops, we can expect to see a lot more games being introduced that rival the technologies of Nintendo and Niantic and many that exceed them. With Apple introducing their brand new Animoji’s based around facial recognition and Microsoft’s HoloLens, it is clear that VR and AR have attracted some of the biggest tech companies of the world.