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App of The Month: Pokemon Go Success Story

App of The Month: Pokemon Go Success Story

It's 1996 again! Don't believe it? Ask any millennial around you and he will answer with gleaming eyes why exactly history is being recreated right in front of us. The millennial dream of exploring the world to catch monsters, train them, fight them and collect them has just become a sudden reality and the world just went crazy over it. In the past 3 weeks if you still haven’t heard of Pokemon’s latest euphoria, then you are probably born in the wrong time!

Pokémon Go – a legendary mobile app that has created a magical history by taking over the planet; and ironically it still hasn't officially launched in most part of the world. The augmented-reality based game launched in the market on 6th July 2016, became a trendsetter in mobile gaming industry. It has won insane fan following thanks to its decades-old branding and is being used more than Candy Crush, Clash of Clans while out-numbering giants like WhatsApp and Facebook in daily time on app metrics.

The game has set a record by crossing the Twitter in terms of active users within the three days of release and started ruling the App Store revenue charts as well. The credit of such an overnight success goes to Niantic Labs (Creator of Pokémon Go) and Nintendo (publisher of Pokémon Go).

Behold all essential insights about game’s progression, association between the two companies, secret of success and unmatchable marketing strategies with this article.

Pokémon All About

Pokémon was a media franchise of The Pokémon Company, a group of three Japanese companies: Creature, Game Freak, and Nintendo. Later on, there was a release of video games developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo. First generation of the video game, named Red and Green, released on 26th February 1996.

Pokémon was also very popular as trading cards games, animated television movie and show series, toys and comic books across the people of 80s and 90s. Pokémon Go is the 7th generation of the game that recreates the fantasy of Pokémon across the people of all ages by allowing them to experience this game in real world.ee the journey of Pokémon video game series from Red and Green to Sun and Moon.

Pokemon Games Timeline (Source: Wikipedia)

Alliance Amongst Nintendo and Niantic Labs

Before conceptualizing the Pokémon Go, Nintendo analyzed the market and came to the conclusion that video games are no more people’s interest in this age of mobility. Users love to play games on their smartphones only. Such a scenario insisted Nintendo to move ahead for building a mobile app for next Pokémon game.

On the other hand, Niantic was a part of Google at its inception stage. In 2010, Niantic left Google and started working to create AR tools utilizing Google Maps technology. Their first effort in game development was Ingress. It was an augmented reality, location and massively multiplayer based gaming app having a small but dedicated following. However, Niantic was facing issue with funding.

Both the companies came together to fulfill the objectives of each other. Nintendo provided funding to the Niantic to create an incredible Pokémon app while Niantic utilized their experience about the augmented reality gaming into the Pokémon Go development. Thus, the win-win partnership between both companies introduced an amazing app that the world was yet to see.

Pokémon Go - Secret of Success

Pokémon was a huge phenomenon for the millennials, as they were crazy about collecting the Pokemon Trading cards and engrossing themselves in the video games that followed on Nintendo gaming devices. Subsequently, the Pokémon company released a long-running animated television series and animated movie series. All the 1990s Pokémon enthusiasts are now between 20 to 30 years old. For them, this phenomenon defined their childhood and they are still passionate to play and experience it. In the 80s and 90s, parents were also well-aware of the Pokémon brand and concept. Thus, Pokémon Go entices the old generation to enjoy the game.

Another reason can be the MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) concept integration in the game. So users can play the game by moving and getting around in an actual world. MMO also allows unknown users, from nearby locations, to play the game with each other.

Ultimately, for Pokémon lovers, it’s an incredible experience to catch the Pokémon actually in their real life. The game permits users to discover Pokémon near to their current location on the map, hit the Pokémon and see the Pokémon actually in front of them. Of course, this becomes possible with the help of smartphone camera, but it’s an amazing and cool experience to have!

Marketing Strategy of Pokémon Go

To create anticipation and hype, pre-launch marketing of an app matters a lot before the actual launch to the public. Overnight success and popularity of Pokémon Go is a result of the smart marketing strategy of Niantic and the brand value of Pokemon itself. The company started to make the app a ‘market buzz’ two years back, in 2014.

2014:

In April, Niantic introduced a prototype version as a part of an April Fool’s joke. The game informed people about things to come in the Pokémon Go. It was the earliest test and proof of concept. They created a short-lived but viral game that permitted players to catch Pokémon using the Google Maps.

2015:

  1. As the company started receiving funds from Nintendo, they began to build buzz around the digital market.

  2. On 9th September 2015, they launched a slick trailer of the game on the official Pokémon channel.

2016:

  1. On 4th March 2016, they released the app with signup to field test in Japan. Later on, they started focusing on other regions.
    The company also lacked a video that revealed first look of the game to generate more excitement and interest across the users. Moreover, Niantic also released few teaser screenshots.

  2. In 25th April of this year, the company rolled out the field testing into Australia and New Zealand. They invited US users too for the field testing of the game.

  3. In the month May, they collected the required feedback and enhanced the user experience of the app.

  4. In mid of the June, Nintendo gave a demo of Pokémon Go at E3 in front of a captive audience.

  5. On 6th July, the game launched to the pubic of US, Australia, and New Zealand region. They also released a trailer named “Get Up and Go!” on IGN’s YouTube channel.

  6. On July 12, the game became the most active mobile game in the United States ever with 21 million active users

  7. Nintendo's market value increased by US$9 billion within five days of release of Pokémon Go while the app generated a daily revenue of $1.6 million just from the US iPhone users.

  8. As of 20th July, the app has a daily active user strength of 30 million!

Additionally, Pokémon Go makes the players social by connecting them with strangers, inspiring them to interact with the other players, and insisting them to go out of the home. Users can get the health benefits as they have to walk and move around to catch and hit the Pokémon.

Right now, we have the very first public release of the Pokémon Go in our smartphones. We can expect that Niantic may eventually evolve and add more features and functionalities to make it compatible with social media play and deliver loads of fun filled experience like in-game trading and multiplayer battles.

Thus, the journey of Pokémon Go was quite exciting from the beginning until today. Undoubtedly, execution of thoughtful development and marketing strategies has made it the big bash of this year and probably the biggest one in the history for some time to come.

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