Pokémon is a media product created by The Pokemon Company, a Japanese consortium among Nintendo, Game Freak and Creatures. This cultural icon was created by Satoshi Tajiri in 1995 and is based on anecdotal animals called “Pokemon.” People known as Pokémon Trainers catch and prepare to fight each other in a game.
Back in the mid 90’s it was arguably the most well-known children’s form of entertainment going for card collecting authorities and portable Gameboy gamers alike. In the long run, the game-based enthusiasm decreased among the Millennial crowd; however, now with the usage of advanced cells, tablets and augmented reality, Pokémon has made a triumphant rebound with Pokemon Go.
Some app gamers may remember ‘Ingress’ which was also created by the same company as Pokemon Go, and had a very similar gaming structure and overall concept. Ingress, launched in December of 2013, was a massively multiplayer augmented-reality game created by Google and Niantic labs, and was considered a success. While the game still has players today, it reached nowhere near the popularity or social media exposure that Pokemon Go has currently established. By integrating augmented reality phone-based gaming with “real time” location hunting, and by including the nostalgia of Pokemon, Niantic has apparently struck gold.
It’s not too hard to see how Niantic took its average success from the ‘Ingress’ game model and integrated a successful what’s-old-is-new-again property with a predetermined fan base. This could be credited directly with quantifying the games overall popularity and could create an opportunity for other products and properties to follow a similar path.
Niantic is now said to be considering adapting a similar type of game that is set in the world of the ever popular ‘Game of Thrones’ television series on HBO. What would stop other collective retro-based properties and/or franchises based on such entertainment staples to do the same? Think comic books, action figures or even sports card and player collecting—all of them could be applied the same way that Pokemon Go has, with interactive gamification and collecting.
One of the questions that should be asked is whether this current augmented reality game frenzy could be credited to solely nostalgia, or is social media collectivism a part of the new equation? Will creating, engaging and monetizing an interactive digital scavenger hunt like Pokemon Go affect mobile gaming moving forward as well?
All these are valid questions to think about when considering if it is a form of “Brand Sanctuary” that could be linked to the overall success of how Pokemon Go has taken off. Either way, we can see how the next great gaming app that mimics Niantic’s model will determine the next successful AR app. It’s only be a matter of time.