Since the game’s launch, Pokemon Go had became a global phenomenon, and many had wondered what is the secret behind such a success. Well, apparently it’s not because he had the Illuminati behind him, at least according to him.
Business Insider sat down with Niantic (The company that developed the game) CEO John Hanke to talk more about the mobile game that had taken the world by storm. According to Hanke:
“The game itself is intended to facilitate the real-life stuff,” Hanke tells Business Insider. The reward is the encouragement and opportunity to go out and have new experiences, “not the big scene at the end where the boss dies.”
He added that the team only had three big goals in mind as they build the game:
- Exercise: A lot of fitness apps come with a lot of “baggage” that end up making you feel like “a failed Olympic athlete” when you’re just trying to get fit, Hanke says. “Pokémon Go” is designed to get you up and moving by promising you Pokémon as rewards, rather than placing pressure on you.
- “To see the world with new eyes:” The game is intended to “give you a little nudge” towards cool and interesting things in your neighbourhood by turning real-life landmarks and historical sites into Pokéstops and Gyms where players power up and battle. By encouraging exploration, “Pokémon Go” can “make your life better in some small way,” Hanke says.
- Breaking the ice: All over the world, players are organising “Pokémon Go” outings, cruising around their area and trawling for Pokémon. At higher levels, players need to team up with fellow players to conquer those Gyms. This is by design: Hanke describes “Pokémon Go” as an “icebreaker” that “gives people a reason to spend time together.”
Which seemed to have worked tremendously well in their favour – Pokemon Go had been one of the biggest video game in history, surpassing numbers that took other mobile applications years to achieve in mere weeks.
Where the idea came from
The entire concept of the Pokemon-based game actually came from Ingress, the first mobile game that Niantic developed, back when it was still a company under Google. In the game, players were challenged to explore the world around them and claim territory.
The idea actually came up when Google and the Pokemon Company came together for a special April Fools’ campaign in 2014. The game challenged layers to file Pokemon via Google Maps, and was very well received by fans of the series world-wide. The rest is history.
Niantic eventually spun off from Google and took a US$ 20 million investment from The Pokemon Company, and began working on Pokemon Go.
With support from their new investors, the two companies shared crucial elements like the three-dimensional models and sounds for the Pokémon themselves, saving a lot of time while also ensuring “Pokémon Go” was as true to the classic games as possible.
The music, notably, is similar to the original Pokémon games — Junichi Masuda, the composer of the classic low-fi soundtrack on the original “Pokémon Red and Blue,” wrote a new score for “Pokémon Go.”