Pokemon Go: The Game Changer

Okay, let’s be honest- Pokemon Go’s not the best game or not even close to being worthy to be called a great mobile game. But hey, when was the last time a mobile game became this famous?

I can’t help but voice out some of my ideas about this game since my work before when I was a corporate employee was to create digital products that will sell. I was doing a techy job that was actually my interest way back when I was in high school working on my own website which was pure html (geeky mode on. This is a programming language). So geeky but I love it!

As I’ve mentioned in some posts, I used to work for several big companies namely a big media company handling web project management stuff and 2 of the big telco companies in the country (yup competitors! I’m not ungrateful don’t get me wrong ok? 😉 I handled different things in both companies and I was loyal to both without being die hard).

The Game – Pokemon Go

Nintendo did it again. They were the first ones to be successful in the mobile games industry. This mobile game may not last in terms of fame and consumer use but I’m sure a lot of people have downloaded it and tried it maybe out of curiosity, out of boredom, out of interest, or just for the sake of. But whatever people’s reasons are it really doesn’t matter to Nintendo but one thing is for sure- they got the users’ information which is way valuable than anything else in the digital and mobile world.

Companies do not own a big database of profiled users and probably Pokemon Go is doing a great job profiling the users. Nintendo’s got our age (remembered you inputted it before you played the game?), our location (which is real-time. They can send targeted ads real-time with this information), our behavior and interests (where you go, where you frequent, where you work, etc.). There’s a lot of information that Nintendo can get from its users which gives them big competitive advantage from their competitors. These information may be used to sell to advertisers or develop better games.

The game is actually simple – you have to catch as many little monsters as you can around. But really, you don’t have to go around if you have no choice. Like me, I stay home usually nowadays because I have 2 small children to attend to and a home to manage (That’s my work now and I love it!) but I still catch monsters who seem to just appear nearby. I don’t actually see the importance of the camera. It just creates a feeling that the monsters are just nearby but I don’t see how it’s helping me win the game. It’s not even awesome. But the experience of augmented reality, location-based, and free-to-play all plus media and publicity did the job pretty well.

Lessons from Pokemon Go

A lot of companies have been trying to make it big in the mobile apps world and it’s very rare that an app becomes this famous. The weird stuff people are experiencing (like finding a dead body while playing the game in the US) with the game actually helped a lot. Bad publicity if you think about it, but publicity is publicity..the fame is instant! There’s so much business opportunity in this game too but what’s important now for its makers is that a lot of people are joining this craze which we can say might not last for so long (unless they keep improving the game or give good reasons and benefits for the players like maybe a discount to an establishment where you killed a creature?)

The game is actually a crazy idea for countries like the Philippines. There are many dangerous places and streets here  (I’m sure even in other places) and there are careless drivers here who use their phones while driving.  There are just so many dangers especially those who are hooked to the game. The game is simple enough to meet the basic emotions of non-pro gamers like most users – satisfies the excitement for hunting, joy when an enemy gets killed, fun of being able to see the creatures glued on top of reality when camera mode turns on, and the classic experience of a family computer game brought to life through augmented reality.

Also, timing is important. I’m not sure if it was intentional but we all need a happy break from al the worldwide killings and bad news around. This one seemed to be fun, relaxing, and basic (complicated, cool, and high-tech for the not-so-techy users). I think we also missed Pokemon back in its fame in the 90s too (throwback) and Nintendo as the game producer added to it’s image as a good game.

The game is time and effort-consuming. For  busy people, the game is pathetic. It’s very understandable. But honestly, it can be fun too. Just don’t take it seriously of course, it’s just for entertainment. No one is forcing us to like it or to explain how bad the game is.  Relax and just enjoy or let others enjoy it. It’s the lighter stuff despite the busy life we have.

So guys, be disciplined while playing Pokemon Go. Don’t go too far or in dangerous places. It’s just a game. Have presence of mind and let not competitiveness rule. May the players know how to decipher what is safe to do and what’s dangerous. Nintendo won’t save you if you accidentally fall in bodies of water or het trapped in dangerous places. If my kids are a bit older now,they can play this but they can’t leave my sight. Who knows where they will reach or tempted to go because of the game.

Game Changer

However you put it, Nintendo was able to break the wall between mobile phone users- their behavior, location, etc,- and app builders and developers. The info they will get will allow them to create better games if they read their gathered information right. The struggle to use augmented reality has been there for many years and a lot of companies tried but no one really stood out and made it this big. Good job Nintendo.

When I was working, we used to think all day everyday on how we can create mobile apps that are free to download yet create a business model which will increase a company’s revenue targets. We exhaust all possible means to come up with good mobile apps but let’s accept it. Apps will only be downloaded by people if they’re free or else the apps need to be compelling enough for people to be willing to pay. As we can see Pokemon Go is still free to play but there are ways to earn for Nintendo here, like buying Pokeballs, etc.

So probably companies around the world is looking into Nintendo’s game and every detail of it and will rush to develop then release something like this while the users are at it. This game paved the way for users to familiarize themselves with augmented reality.

You probably think you’re winning in Pokemon Go when reality is that Nintendo is winning in the mobile gaming industry as you play Pokemon Go. Personally, I think there’s something bigger going on here that we have yet to see.

Collage 2016-04-08 06_09_24-1

One comment

  1. I understand there are a lot of people who dont like the game or thinks its a way for other countries to know our moves (which i personally dont believe) but i must say I absolutely LOVE (the game) how it gets adults and kids up and moving. While i’ve played it Ive seen kids, teenagers and EVEN men in suits playing.

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