What exactly went ‘right’ with Pokemon Go ?

Video games have always been popular among generations. During early 90s, all you needed is to take up predefined action which would translate into points. People found it amusing; they were ready to try their hands out into what seemed like a dash of virtual entertainment in their real world.

But, times changed. The whole idea of online gaming was revolutionized with the advent of web & mobile technologies. Millions of online gaming sites flooded the web. Slowly people moved on to the era of app based games. Farmville, Criminal case are few names worth mentioning.

Apps didn’t limit itself to web – rather, it revolutionized the way people looked at smartphones. Gaming was made convenient. You wouldn’t really need to wait for a perfect time to grab your gaming console – all you need is to download the app and get started with it. Candycrush, Templerun and even Marvel’s Avengers were soon on a priority list in smartphones. But there was a line of difference maintained – between what’s virtual and what’s real.

But all these are probably history. We’ve entered into a new age – where the virtual world gets interconnected with the real. It is a mix of both the realties…and this isn’t a writer’s surreal fancy…this is the truth, about Pokemon Go.

Before we dive in to understand what exactly whooped up the success of the game, let’s get few facts straight.

  • Pokemon go is estimated to have 75 million downloads so far – Techcrunch
  • Niantic, the mastermind behind the game is now worth more than $3 billion.

Marketers can’t help but wonder “What exactly is the reason behind such a whooping success?”

According to critics, the game isn’t a flawless piece of creation. It’s reported that the app crashes frequently, exhausts the phone battery – and most of all, there isn’t any detailed guidance on the procedure. All these make it a bit cumbersome.

Then what is it that possibly contributed to its success?

Community Learning:

This very feature lets you seek help from your friends. It’s interesting to observe that the game doesn’t really provide clear instructions to follow which often makes users wonder about the steps to be followed. But you are given the option to seek help from friends in order to know the game better. This ultimately fosters conversations and paves way for Word of mouth marketing. Though it’s hard to predict whether this was actually a deliberate effort to increase word of mouth, however, there’s no doubt that the community learning feature has contributed to its insurmountable growth by may degrees.

Retargeting to 90s:

You may remember that Pokemon in the 90s… the cartoons were immensely popular& the kids indulging themselves in trading such cards in their group. Pokemon Go, makes people rewind back in those days – people are happy to play something online which was a part of their childhood. In a way, Niento retargets the game to the old nostalgic group of people aside from children. This gives the game a wider reach which contributes to its immense popularity & growth.

Tapping in human psychological behavior:

Marketing is not just a science, not it is an art fully – it’s a blend of both. In many cases it requires consistent study of human behavioral pattern before bringing in a new product idea.

Human beings are subject to various emotions – it’s curiosity, amusement, a zest for adventure and sometimes all of them.  There is a disconnect with the real world and a world of fantasy – as there is an innate desire to connect both.

Pokemon Go hits the right cord of human imagination. With real life setting they bring in a dash of fantasy which was never there before. The very idea of collecting Pokemons in a setting which exactly replicates your real life location is just so very awesome! Niantic explores augmented reality like never before – it hits the right cord of people’s imagination which actually catapulted its unprecedented growth.

Emotional connect: By helping people gain a real life experience in the virtual world, Pokemon Go connects to people’s emotions – and this, is the trump card for any brand building activity. And, Niento is able to do it successfully

The way forward:

Niento, hasn’t released the game in one go – it is rolling out in stages so that all the bugs and server glitches get fixed. Fixing the first hard issues early paves way for better experience in coming days.

Giants like Apple and Google have set out their foot to invest in Augmented Reality. Tim Cook, SEO of Apple has stated clearly of Apple’s intentions – Read more 

When asked about Pokemon Go, the Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg mentioned “The biggest thing that I think we can take away from this as we invest in augmented reality in addition to virtual reality, is that the phone is probably going to be the mainstream consumer platform where a lot of these AR features first become mainstream, rather than a glasses form factor that people will wear on their face,”

It’s clear that the biggies are going to invest in AR, and, this is what is going be the future of technologies in forthcoming days – with new technologies to be explored, new benchmarks to be created – ushering the beginning of a new era.

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